Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has criticised the lack of action by Environment Minister, John Gormley toward making any improvements to the administration of the Non Principal Private Residence charge.
“The €200 annual fee has hit many unsuspecting constituents in County Mayo expecting to receive a payment notice for 2010,” Deputy Kenny said. “Instead, they found themselves receiving notices that their payment was overdue and are now required to pay penalties for houses they own in other counties. There are serious variances between the administration of the charge from county to county.
“I understand that administrative costs need to be minimised with processing the NPPR charge and that is the reason for not introducing formal notifications. The cost of postage charges in County Mayo alone would probably cost almost €5,000 for just one notification to roughly the 8,500 people who paid the charge in 2009. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that some constituents have been issued with overdue payment notices after penalties have been allowed to accumulate.
“Therefore, I am urging any person paying this charge in future to provide their e-mail address in order to allow themselves to receive future notifications at a minimal cost to the administration of the NPPR charge. It is time we started using low-cost and common-sense solutions to overcome similar problems and I am calling on the Environment Minister, John Gormley to introduce such a measure.”