March 28 2012

Sinn Fein is to lobby for cross-party support to have the household charge reimbursed.

With a 72 hour deadline to pay the 100 euro charge, the party’s environment spokesman Brian Stanley unveiled plans for proposed legislation to reverse the levy and pay it back.

“It’s clear that the household charge has been a farce, it’s clear it’s not working,” said Mr Stanley.

Sinn Fein will table the Bill during private members’ time in June, but in the meantime has pledged to rally as many TDs as possible to support it when it comes to a vote.

“We’re calling on members of the Dail and the Seanad to back our Bill and are hoping that members of the opposition and Labour Party will back it,” Mr Stanley said.

Success is some way off however.

Sinn Fein TDs make up 14 of the 166 currently sitting in the Dail. The Fine Gael-Labour coalition has 111 seats, meaning that even if Sinn Fein rallied support from every single TD in opposition, it would still have to gain support from a significant number on Government benches.

The deadline for householders to register for the charge is Saturday.

But figures from the Department of the Environment showed that only 395,232 of the 1.6 million homes eligible have done so.

The Government hopes to raise 160 million euro from the levy, but has so far taken in only 39.5 million euro. Money raised will go towards public services, including public footpaths, parks and public libraries.