A Sinn Féin motion calling for the immediate reversal of the controversial Household Charge was defeated at last Monday night’s meeting of Wexford Borough Council. The motion was proposed by Sinn Féin Cllr. Anthony Kelly and supported by Green Party Cllr. Danny Forde. Eight councillors voted against reversing the Charge.
At the meeting Cllr Kelly said;
“This charge is ill-conceived and inequitable. The Government knows this because now they’re saying it’s an interim tax. It’s going to place unimaginable hardship on many families who are already struggling financially.”
Labour party Cllr Joe Ryan accused Cllr Kelly of playing the populist line and said, “If it’s something to do with Sky Sports people have no problem paying but they resent paying money to the local authority.”
Cllr Kelly reacted angrily to this stating that it was Fine Gael and Labour who had plundered local government finances and were now seeking to compensate for it by taxing homes. Cllr Kelly also said that the government had done a complete u-turn on its pre-election promises.
Afterwards Cllr Kelly said;
“The Household Charge is a desperate attack on low and middle income earners,” Cllr Kelly said. “It will be another terrible burden on those suffering most as a result of this recession. Last Monday night I tabled a motion before Wexford Borough Council calling for the immediate reversal of the Household Charge. It was defeated by eight votes to two, with only Cllr. Danny Forde supporting my motion. Among those who supported Coalition Councillors at the meeting were Independents and Fianna Fail reps, the so called opposition.”
“The Household Charge is almost universally accepted as being inherently wrong in both its function and its roll out, and is viewed as yet another unfair tax on ordinary people. The Wexford Borough Councillors were elected by these very people to serve their best interests and respect their views. When Councillors voted against what the people on the street are saying, then it suggests to me that they are totally out of touch with the desires and fears of their constituents. This is unforgivable.”
“Where I expected Fine Gael and Labour Councillors to support their government and vote against my motion, I am deeply shocked and disgusted that reps belonging to the so called main opposition party chose to vote against this motion. In doing so, they have revealed Fianna Fail’s full unwavering support for the Household Charge. This is proof that Fianna Fail is no opposition party.”
“Sinn Féin has been consistent in its opposition to the Household Charge and in the coming weeks and months we will be holding public meetings across the county to inform and organise an effective grassroots campaign. Our elected reps will continue to bring motions before their councils calling for a reversal of the tax and we will go on picketing the offices of government TDs in the county.”