National campaign to defeat new household tax launched

National campaign to defeat new household tax launched
LookLeft #8, October 2011

Using the cover of the EU/IMF austerity deal, the government announced the imposition of an annual tax of €100 on households. In September, a national meeting of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes was held, at which over 200 people from 16 different counties initiated a movement that will fight this new tax through non-payment. This campaign includes virtually all left-wing organisations, with the exception of Sinn Fein.

Campaign steering committee member Gregor Kerr says, “it is clear this is just the thin end of the wedge. John Fitzgerald of the ESRI said the approximate annual take should actually be about €1,350 per household. If the government gets away with this initial €100, we’re looking at it rising to €1,300 per household within two years. It’s just another way of extracting more tax from ordinary people, which will go straight into the banking bailout black hole. On top of this, there is Irish capitalism’s privatisation agenda. Therefore, the campaign is organising for people to unite against this tax, to stand up and say ‘No! We won’t pay’”.

The campaign seeks to build a national movement that will “get the idea of non-payment out into communities quickly, even before the bills arrive, so there’s already a feeling that nobody’s paying, neither will we”.  The aim until January is “hosting public meetings and building local non-payment campaigns, with the goal of having open and democratic campaigns in every community. It’s got to be much bigger than the existing Left. If we’re to defeat the government we need to turn people, who may never have done anything political before, into organisers in their own areas”.

In conclusion, Kerr says “in bringing forward local organisers and empowering communities, we’ll not only defeat the tax, the campaign will politicise people and encourage thinking about the type of society we live in and ways change can be brought about.”

To get involved in establishing a non-payment campaign in your community, visit www.nohouseholdtax.org

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Explore posts in the same categories: capitalism, debt, Household Tax, interview, Ireland, lookleft, workers party

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