Joe Higgins addresses Dundalk rally on household charge

ANGER at the government’s introduction of the household charge was on full display in a public meeting chaired by Socalist Party TD Joe Higgins in the Fairways Hotel on Wednesday.

ANGER at the government’s introduction of the household charge was on full display in a public meeting chaired by Socalist Party TD Joe Higgins in the Fairways Hotel on Wednesday.

Over 100 local people attended the “Campaign against the household charge” with nearly half signing up to support the non-payment of the household tax.

Local Socialist Party member and campaign activist Donal Griffin said there was a “quiet determination” amongst the group as they listened to both Joe Higgins and Ballyfermot People Before Profit member Brid Smith.

Speaker on the night, Joe Higgins TD, outlined details of a campaign that has seen meetings take place across the country. Higgins pointed to the similarities to other campaigns such as that which took place against the poll tax in Britain, which was defeated by a campaign of non-payment and brought down the Thatcher government and how through organisation in local communities change is possible.

The group is calling for people not to register to pay for the annual household charge of €100.

Mr Griffin stated that to date over 500,000 had signed up nationally against paying for it and a “Day of Action” which took place outside the Longwalk Shopping Centre on Saturday attracted many people and continued the swell in local interest.

Mr Griffin also spoke of the hardships many communities are feeling at present. “This community, like many other working class communities across the state, has experienced the dreadful hardships of austerity with massive unemployment; reductions in pay and social welfare and savage cuts to health, education and local community services.”

He continued, “the Government has chosen to target workers, pensioners, school children, the unemployed and one-parent families, while allowing the rich to maintain their vast wealth. This is not out debt and we will not pay for it.”