Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (187)

Finian McGrath


187. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he could explain why there are no waivers on fines for the NPPR, and if he is aware that many persons are suffering from high rates and cannot cope with the councils. [35647/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The Charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties.

Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect Non-Principal Private Residence Charges, and late payment fees due to it and all Charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to a local authority are under the care and management of the local authority concerned.

I have issued guidelines to local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and management” provisions of the legislation in instances in which genuine hardship in having to discharge a liability in a single payment can be demonstrated. In such cases, local authorities may enter into payment arrangements for the discharge of outstanding liabilities in instalments over a specified period.

This year will be the final year of the operation of the Non-Principal Private Residence Charge. Since its introduction in 2009, the Charge has been an important source of revenue for local authorities and has funded the provision of vital local services.