Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Archive Statements > 2016

Property Tax Bites Again in 2017
27th October 2016

Householders across County Wicklow began receiving their 2017 Property Tax bills this week and they are angry.

Wicklow residents feel no one cares about the ordinary person and her/his struggle to make ends meet day in day out. People have still not recovered from the crash of the last 8 years and they are trying to pay mortgages or astronomical rents; they are paying for expensive childcare, education costs and healthcare; they are stuck in traffic gridlock for hours on end every morning and evening with no hope of an improvement on the horizon; older people are struggling to survive on fixed incomes while trying to provide for their own healthcare and future needs and self employed business people face enormous challenges daily just to keep their business alive.

The political elite in this country do not realise the strength of people's feelings. I have been told by people in North, South, East and West Wicklow that they are sick and tired of the constant demands being made on them by Central Government. They believe the national politicians are out of touch and the recent childish debate in the Dail this week about getting their mid-term break illustrates this mind set clearly. The ordinary people of County Wicklow believe no-one is speaking for them in Dáil Éireann and they are not happy about that.

They are furious also when they discover that, in fact, the property tax bill for 2017 could have been reduced by 15% by the County Councillors in Wicklow. The Council had the financial resources to cut the property tax and give people a break but a majority of Councillors decided to keep the tax at the highest level possible. This means that every resident in County Wicklow will be paying 15% more in tax than they should have to. To add insult to injury, the property tax as a whole is not bringing any additional benefits or services to the County. In fact, it is only replacing central funding and with across the board reductions in staff and the dismantling of Town Councils the people are getting a much worse service.

It is imperative that all politicians wake up to the feelings of the ordinary woman and man in County Wicklow and play their part in lifting the burden whenever they can.

Cllr. Joe Behan

Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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