On Thursday, February 7, the Coolock/Santry branch of the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes [CAHWT] met in the Kilmore West community centre to discuss this year’s introduction of the so called ‘property tax’ – Fine Gael and Labour’s latest name for their home tax.
A crowd of over forty residents from the Coolock/Santry area gathered in the centre to discuss the drastic changes surrounding the re-launched home tax. These changes include a decision by the Twenty Six County government to use the Revenue Commissioner’s extensive powers by deducting the tax at source. The original ‘household charge’ was based on self-registration and voluntary payment.
This means that the home tax will now be deducted from wages, pensions and social welfare payments prior to payment of same. And the self-employed will have the property tax added to their tax liability each year. Those at the public meeting reacted to this news with shock and horror. Members of the local community vented their anger by calling for mass opposition to the new tax and pledging their support to help the local and national campaign with pickets, protests and door to door canvassing in the future.
2013 marks the centenary of the 1913 lock out and is an important year nationally for republicans, socialists and everyone who wants to strike back against the Fine Gael/ Labour coalition and their savage cut backs. It’s also an important year for the greater Coolock area, an area that has had to endure some of the worst of the economic downturn.
Local éirígí activist Martin Farrell co-chaired the meeting alongside a fellow activist from the local CAHWT. Martin told the crowd that he was inspired by the drive in the campaign from the local community and urged everyone at the meeting to come on board and join the CAHWT as the campaign goes into the second round against the Dublin government.
Martin also urged the locals at the meeting to engage with local politicians and let them know just how bad the suffering and the fear in many working class homes has become. He pointed out that four government ministers were invited to the public meeting but, in a repeat of their response to last year’s invitations to speak with constituents, they declined the opportunity to engage with the local people yet again.
One of the campaign’s latest tactics was unveiled at the meeting, which involves giving CAHWT postcards to the public and asking them to send them on to their elected representatives with a strong anti austerity message printed on the back.
Speaking after the meeting, éirígí Dublin North East chairperson Ciaran Heaphey said, “Tonight’s meeting is another example of the growing anger in this community. We had over forty members of the public here tonight to listen to the next steps for the campaign and to share their fear and anxieties, to ask any questions they may have and ultimately to get them involved in the campaign. The number of new faces who came along tonight is inspiring and shows this campaign is ready to fight the home and water taxes and resist all government threats.”