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That 50 per cent. Or is it 40 per cent. 1.8 million households or 1.6 million households? April 3, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
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Here’s the crucial point:

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins, one of the leaders of the campaign for non-payment of the charge, accused the Government and the media of grossly distorting the payment figures to suggest 50 per cent of households had complied.
“The 2011 census found just under two million houses in the State. [Of these] 129,000 are owned by local authorities and do not have to be registered. This leaves 1.86 million houses that must be registered,” he said. This meant the figure for compliance was just more than 40 per cent of the total required – and not 50 per cent as suggested, he said.

The figure has varied between 1.8 and 1.6 million households eligible. My understanding was that it was 1.8 million households of which close to 200,000 were eligible for – and this was off the back of articles in the Irish Times and on RTÉ.
The 1.6 million was introduced in the last week or two of the campaign and has never had a clear breakdown on RTÉ or the IT or wherever as to whether that includes waiver eligible households (Last September, for example, the IT said it was estimated at 1.8m, only yesterday we were back to 1.8m).

But Higgins figures seem different, and the Government’s figures seem ridiculously low.

Whether this is going to be fought over is a different matter. The near total unanimity in the media that this was 50 per cent, or as near as makes no odds, has its own effect, although one could argue that for those who haven’t paid it makes little difference because now it’s a “wait and see what happens next” time.

That unanimity, though, is depressing.

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1. Eoin O'Mahony - April 3, 2012

I’m not one for technocratic responses but as Rob has pointed out (http://irelandafternama.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/household-charge-numbers/#comment-7939) the 2m figure was from the preliminary results. Doesn’t invalidate Joe’s point though.

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2. Bartley - April 3, 2012

Yep, definite spin applied to the total pool of households liable for the charge.

But in reeling off his math, Joe glossed over the 129,000 exemptions granted to some of the most disadvantaged households in the country.

Had the charge been applied to those properties, it would of course have effectively been a zero-sum accountancy exercise with the local authority levying a tax on itself as notional owner of the social housing stock. However inevitably it would have put upward pressure on council rents, just as the charge will begin to feed into private rents in time.

The SP seems oblivious to the level of exemptions and waivers granted to the unemployed (most of whom would be either in local authority housing, rented accomodation covered via rental allowance, or on mortgage interest supplement):

Cllr Ruth Coppinger … claimed this would be a recipe for further disadvantaging areas with higher unemployment

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0402/household-charge.html

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3. Ivorthorne - April 3, 2012

Isn’t the point that in order to get the exemption, you have to register? In the case, isn’t Joe right to include those who are exempt?

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Bartley - April 3, 2012

Well, only waivered households need be registered, not those exempted.

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/owning_a_home/home_owners/household_charge.html#l1f4da

You must still register your property in order to claim either waiver …

There is no need to register exempt properties.

But in any case, Joe is excluding the local authority exemptions, which is correct if I understand correctly.

The point was more that the progressive-with-a-small-P nature of the waivers and exemptions seems not to have registered with the SP.

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4. Pope in Hiding - April 3, 2012

50% or %60% of we happy criminals – it doesn’t matter that much – it’s still large enough to make it hard for them to dole out collective punishment without further de-legitimising the Troika parties in government.

And the refusal to be brow-beaten is a good prelude to the really important one – the Austerity Treaty (or ‘Fiscal Compact’ as our rulers like to call it) Referendum.

Corporate Europe Observatory has a persuasive guide to the content of the Treaty and it’s legal footing here, which I would recommend to anyone arguing for a no vote.

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5. Animal Rights | Irish Free Press - April 3, 2012

[...] That 50 per cent. Or is it 40 per cent. 1.8 million households or 1.6 million households? 10:38 Tue Apr 03, 2012 | WorldbyStorm [...]

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6. EWI - April 3, 2012

The Green Jersey lives!

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