Urged on by promoters of a tax boycott, fully 85 percent of Irish homeowners have yet to pay a $130 property tax that is due March 31. The latest official figures show that just 225,000 property owners out of 1.6 million have paid a total of $29 million — well short of the more than $200 million the government was planning to raise to help support public services.
The government has so far dismissed talk that the boycott is gathering strength, saying the Irish are notorious procrastinators on money matters.
“The Irish people are law-abiding citizens and will pay the charge before March 31,” a government spokesman said. “We are ready to cope with a late surge — Irish people always tend to leave it to the last minute to pay their bills.”
The boycott’s organizers see it differently.
“The reality is people are not paying for a reason — they are consciously using this to strike back,” Cian Prendiville, a prominent organizer in the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, said in an interview. “This is mass civil disobedience in the finest boycott tradition.”
This protest, initiated by nine left-wing opposition members of Parliament in December, has found resonance among “Middle Ireland” — an older, settled demographic made up of hard-pressed homeowners, many of whom would have voted for the mainstream government parties at the last general election just over a year ago.
Discussed on Kaiser Report (from beginning)