Want to guess what percentage of people are paying the €500 fire brigade call out charge?
If you thought the Household Charge was unpopular, wait until you see how many people are paying the bill for calling out a fire brigade.
As we told you last year Dublin City Council introduced a €500 call out fee for their fire service. The charge, which came into force early in 2012, went up to €610 for a car accident and the same fee was charged if the fire was for a chimney or a car. No, we don’t know the reason for the distinction either.
Anyway, the Evening Herald today have published the the first figures for collection rates and to say that the charge is being ignored is a bit of an understatement.
In the first 10 weeks of the new fee structure only €12,350 out of €101,860 charged have been paid, just over 10 per cent of the total. It makes the controversial Household Charge, which was paid by over 50 per cent at the last count, sound like a roaring success.
Clare Crosbie, the Dublin City Council officer in charge of the subject told the paper they are going for the softly softly approach. For now anyway
“If anybody has difficulty paying €500 up front, we make arrangements for them to pay in instalments,” she said.
“At the moment, the procedure is people are receiving reminders. We haven’t yet considered fining, and we won’t be fining, but we will be looking at what other options we will pursue should people not pay up.”
The Council insists it needs the money to keep services going so we haven’t heard the last of this yet we suspect.