Government figures 'underestimate numbers liable for Household Charge'

The National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis has stated that there are actually more homes liable for the Household Charge than the Government has estimated.

The Local Government Management Agency believes that around 1.6 million householders must pay the €100 levy.

Some 805,000 people had registered to pay the fee by the Saturday-night deadline.

Speaking to KFM, NIRSA director Professor Rob Kitchin said that the real number of those liable for the tax is in excess of 1.7 million.

"This is a tax on housing, not a tax on occupancy," he said.

"We know there's 1.998 million houses and then we just work down for there".

"So [after exemptions and waivers] we probably come in a round 1.72 million houses are probably liable for the charge."

Head of the Local Government Management Agency, Paul McSweeney, earlier highlighted CSO figures showing there were 1.654 million private households in the country last year.

He said some particular exemptions need to be kept in mind like houses held in trust, those whose residents have had to leave because of physical or mental incapacity, or anyone whose house is part of a business's trading stock.

"Those are exemptions that don't have to register at all - unlike waivers, which do," he said.

"But that sort of housing will never, ever have to go on to the Household Charge register".

"Therefore, that figure that the CSO has I believe you can deduct possible exemptions from that - and it would seem to me that 1.6 million is a reasonable figure to be using for planning."

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