In a move that will hardly endear him to the Irish public, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has told those protesting against the household charge to ‘get a life’.
As of 10am today - the deadline for paying the charge - over 650,000 householders had registered to pay, but a sizeable figure have yet to pay the €100 levy and many are intent on not paying it at all.
A planned protest against the charge is due to take place in Dublin this afternoon and no doubt those present will be spitting fury at Justice Minister Shatter after his comments about Sinn Féin – who are leading the campaign to refuse to pay the charge – and others who are on record as saying that they won’t be coughing up the dough.
On his way into the Fine Gael Ard Fheis last night, Shatter said of the controversial charge: "If you don’t pay it, you can be brought before the courts and fined."
"I think Sinn Féin and the promised protesters for tomorrow should just get a life," he added, before saying that "a mountain had been made out of a molehill" on the issue.
Predictably, the response to his comments was scathing.
Ruth Coppinger of the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes (CAHWT) is quoted in the Irish Examiner this morning saying: "When you're a multi-millionaire lawyer, Minister, landlord, investor and property owner like Mr Shatter, then €100 certainly is a molehill.
"However, for ordinary people in this country it is not."
Coppinger added that Shatter and those in power "have no concept of real life" in this country.
However Shatter privately felt about those campaigning against the charge, surely telling them to ‘get a life’ was not a comment befitting of someone in public office.
Those words could come back to haunt him yet.