Anti-household tax protest at Kildare County Council offices


On Friday 7th Sept councillors at the Kildare county council offices choose to enter through a side door rather than pass a group of protesters at the main entrance to the building. The councillors were meeting to discuss how to implement the budget cuts imposed on the council by the government as part of its efforts to pay the State's odious debts. Chants of "Axe the household tax" and "Tax the rich, not the poor" resounded in the courtyard of Kildare's administrative centre.

PICTURE: Campaigners outside the entrance to Kildare county council

Support for the protest was expressed by people who were entering the building and most took leaflets from the campaigners while expressing their intention not to pay the tax. A member of the Kildare town campaign stated that "Over the past months and years, unsecured bondholders have been paid billions of euros by the Irish government while local and national services have been under attack in order to satisfy the Troika's demands." In the latest rounds of cutbacks in Kildare the ambulance service in Maynooth has had it's operational capability reduced. A 19 year old woman tragically lost her life recently as a direct result of such cutbacks to national A&E services and yet the austerity regime continues to intensify. [1]

VIDEO: Anti-household tax campaigners make themselves heard.

Councillor Paddy Kennedy, earlier a supporter of the campaign, has now turned his back on the national Campaign due to pressure he is facing inside the council. [2] He has issued a statement in the Kildare Nationalist concerning his about turn in which he states that he is "profoundly concerned" about the effects the new taxes will have on people. Members of the campaign were disappointed with what they say is yet another failure by a government representative to stand by the people who elected him.

While the goverment attempt to blame the cuts in local budgets on the low level of payment of the household charge, the campaign against the household and water taxes in Kildare will continue to build on the high level of support for non-payment of the household tax by organising in areas that do not yet have a campaign branch. These efforts are matched by other campaign branches nationwide as the struggle to maintain a decent standard of living intensifies.

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REPORT: Brian Ancom