Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 30-01-2014

Over 5,000 sign toilet tax petition

by Joanne Clague

Over 5,000 sign toilet tax petition - picture

Council Leader David Christian has joined in the protest against the so-called toilet tax.

At this week's rate setting meeting for the Island's capital, Mr Christian said the charge was an additional burden on already stretched household budgets.

By this morning, almost 5,300 people had signed an online petition against the tax being levied by the Water Authority from April 1. Protestors say they will lobby Tynwald members when the parliament sits next month. Douglas MHK Chris Thomas is raising the issue at Tynwald on their behalf.

David Christian criticised the charge, which starts at a flat rate of £50 per property, rising to £100 from April next year and, said Mr Christian, 'increasing to who knows how much thereafter'.

He added: 'This is just one more burden on households' budgets which we know are already under pressure and, from the council's perspective, the £50 charge means we will be required to pay around £2,700 for all our non-domestic properties connected to the sewer system.'

Mr Christian said he wanted to correct the myth that council house tenants did not pay rates.

He said: 'Tenants in local authority housing pay rates and water rates and now will pay to flush. Or in government-speak, less 'Freedom to Flush'. In this respect, they are no different from owner/occupier rate payers.'

The petition states: 'We refuse to pay this bill when it arrives while our money is being squandered on luxuries (£80 kerbstones, dining carriages for trains making a loss, and millions and millions of pounds worth of stakes in film studios seeing litte return, to name a few) by the government.'

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