The Drogheda Campaign against Household and Water Tax (CAHWT) says it will organise mass resistance to the proposed property tax which it considers regressive, unjust and draconian. This was the message in a statement issued by the local group following the hugely successful national rally against the property tax, held in Dublin on Saturday.
Up to 600 people travelled from across the country for the half-day meeting which could not accommodate the numbers that turned up. Several TDs were in attendance including Joan Collins and Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit as well as Joe Higgins and Clare Daly of the Socialist Party.
A mass boycott of the registration process for the property tax and a one-day work stoppage are two of the measures being considered by the campaign and it is also expected they will field candidates in next year’s local and European elections.
Local group member Richard Forbes explains: 'Saturday's rally clearly shows that there is a determination to defeat this tax and that many see it for what it is: an austerity tax on peoples' homes to pay for the banking crisis. The Drogheda campaign was instrumental in ensuring that tens of thousands of households in Drogheda and Louth did not pay the household tax. This has laid a solid basis for building a mass campaign of resistance and boycott of the property tax.'
Noting the draconian nature of the property tax legislation, group member Dick McDermott states: 'the government have thrown in the towel with the household tax. The property tax legislation, we have to clear with people, is highly draconian and oppressive. If people stick together, however, this tax will become impossible to collect and can be defeated. Thousands of homes in Drogheda and Louth are facing into another year of cuts in their incomes and will not be able to afford to pay a property tax. By introducing draconian legislation the government have made clear their intention to wage economic war on already suffering people. It's time to stand up and fight this tax.'
Ciarán McKenna, Chair of the Activist Group, notes: 'there will be lots of events organised against the property tax both at a local level in Drogheda and nationally. There will be a public meeting organised in Drogheda over the coming weeks and people will get a chance to hear how the campaign will organise to defeat this tax. The average property tax will be in the region of EUR 300 per household there there have already been cuts to income with the reduction of the PRSI ceiling. There is also the issue of water charges being introduced in 2014, which will average again EUR 300 per home. It's critical that ordinary people get active and support the campaign so that these austerity taxes can be defeated.'