Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (166)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

169 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will ensure that all household charges, second home charges and so on may be paid through the post office network; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34136/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government)

Both the household charge and the charge on non-principal private residences are on a self-assessment basis and it is a matter for an owner of a residential property on the respective liability date to determine if he or she has a liability and, if so, that person is required to declare that liability by completing the relevant declaration form and to pay the charge by the due date.

There is a range of options available for persons to pay both charges. Online systems (www.householdcharge.ie and www.nppr.ie) are in place in the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to enable homeowners to pay the charges by credit or debit card. In addition, homeowners can make payment by cheque, postal order, credit or debit card by completing the relevant payment details on the declaration forms and returning them through the post.

Bureaus are in place in the LGMA to administer the charges on a shared service/agency basis for all local authorities. In addition, all county/city councils have been requested to have arrangements in place for persons to attend their principal offices to pay the charges. An Post has assisted in broadening the number of local outlets where the household charge declaration form is available and the form has been made available outside the counter in the network of 1,152 local post offices.

I am satisfied that there is a comprehensive suite of payment options available to persons to pay both the household charge and the charge on non-principal private residences and I have no plans at present to alter these arrangements.