The Fight against the Household Tax - Time to Get Involved.

Date:

The regressive household tax is yet a further embodiment of the government’s will to make us pay for a crisis we did not create.

Globally, 2011 was marked by a surge in grassroots resistance movements that highlighted the inherently disparate nature of global capitalism, from Tahrir Square to the #Occupy movements that mushroomed their way across the globe.

At home however, the sad highlights of 2011 were job losses, another cruel budget that savages the living standards of honest workers, and a rate of emigration that is comparable only to that of several decades back.

 

The household tax is yet a further manifestation of the government’s agenda: sucking every last penny out of honest workers and families, whilst bosses and big earners continue to paddle through this deluge of depression unscathed.

The government states that €100 is a small price to pay and that “we’re all in this together and there is no alternative”.

Yes, €100 isn’t a colossal sum of money, but the fact of the matter is that it is not fair. Families who are struggling to make ends meet, who are trying to send their children to college, to pay their bills, to put bread on their tables, should not be bullied into paying a “tax” which is essentially an invented means of extracting money from people who are vulnerable.

As can be gleaned from the past, battles like the household tax have to be fought and won from the get-go. It begins at €100 and then is increased every year until it reaches the hundreds, perhaps even the thousands. One has only to look at the “student registration fee”. When education was made “free” in the ‘90s, the registration fee was in the hundreds of punt. Now the “free third level system” extracts €2,250 from every student per year to attend college. In the past budget alone, the registration fee increased by €250.

Mainstream media is not helping our battle, as their coverage of the tax is one-sided, misrepresentative, and a prime example of scaremongering. On the 11th of January, the Irish Times reported that 30,000 households had signed up to pay the charge.

This however is nothing compared to the 1,800,000 (yes, 1.8 million!) households that must sign up for it by March. For the charge to work smoothly, an average of 150,000 households would have to sign up weekly. The reality is that it is simply not happening.

There is a collective feeling of injustice against this regressive tax, and people feel cheated by it. And rightly so. That is why you need to take a stand and refuse to sign up for the charge on the government website. More importantly however, all of us need to talk to our friends, families, neighbours and communities about this, and convince them that together, we have the power to win this battle.

The government can threaten us all they want, they can threaten massive fines and jail. But if everyone refuses to pay it, then the government’s threats will remain idle. If you choose not to pay the charge, along with everyone else in your community, we will be invigourated by a sense of justice, a sense of power that lies only within our collective ability to make the world fairer together.

Get involved with the Campaign against the Household and Water Taxes today, and find them on Facebook.
 

  • Author: JB

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