Friday, February 10, 2012

Get your household charge forms in on time

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, is encouraging local residents in Ratoath and others from across Co. Meath to pick up their household charge forms at her office, if they have not already registered for the charge.

“You have until the end of March to register your details and pay for the household charge. For those who haven’t yet done so, and who find the prospect of going online daunting, I will have hard copies of the necessary form in my office.

“I know this isn’t a popular charge and it isn’t easy for people to stomach. The Government plans to put a fairer system in place next year, and in the meantime we are asking homeowners to pay this charge to fund local services like roads, emergency services and lighting.

“We’ve tried to incorporate some flexibility into the scheme, so if you cannot afford to pay upfront there are instalment options, to allow you to pay in four instalments of €25. If you want to use this method, you need to register your details by the end of this month.

“We are one of the last countries in Europe that does not fund local services through locally-based property charges. The introduction of a charge is also required under the terms of the EU/IMF agreement.

“Many people are exempt from the charge, including those in council and social housing. There are also waivers for people receiving the mortgage interest supplement, and people living in designated unfinished housing estates.

“Late payment fees and interest penalties will apply to those who fail to pay the charge by the due date. I am encouraging Ratoath residents to get their forms filled out now, and get the charge out of the way.”

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