Row erupts over charges meeting
A row has erupted between Charlie Flanagan TD and a left wing anti charges group over posters which claimed that the Fine Gael TD was due to speak at a public meeting in Portlaoise on charges this week.
‘A sinister stunt’ is how the Fine Gael TD hit out at anti-property and water taxes campaigners in Laois over posters which claim that he was due to speak at the public meeting in O’Loughlin’s Hotel, on Tuesday, February 12 at 8pm..
Dep Flanagan also lashed out at the Campaign Against Water and Houshold Taxes (CAWHT) claiming that they were living in ‘fairlyland’.
However, an anti-charges campaign leader in Laois, Ray Fitzpatrick hit back saying that the Governmentt was in ‘cuckoo land’. Mr Fitzpatrick also said that the Deputy Flanagan had declined to respond to an e-mail inviting him to speak.
Dep Flanagan was scathing of the group’s posters.
“I don’t think such a stunt of such deception was ever pulled on the people of Laois before,” he told the Leinster Express.
The TD said he was invited last Thursday to speak, but the posters went up at the same time. He said he had been approached by local people who believed he was the organiser.
“This meeting is a sinister stunt, it is a political trap. My concern as a public representative is that people are being lured to a meeting under false pretences,” he said.
Dep Flanagan said charges are common outside Ireland.
“Nobobdy wants to pay addition charges but the majority of people realise that we don’t live in fairlyland and that local services have a cost. The majority of people in Laois understand that the household charge is a measure introduced by the Troika to fund vital local services,” he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick said Deputy Sean Fleming responded to an invite saying he would attend a future meeting.
He also insisted the posters were not misleading. Mr Ftizpatrick said that Dep Flanagan had four days to reply.
“We really want to know where he stands as the Government representative in Laois. There are an awful lot of people out there who are very angry,” he said.
He said the Revenue Commissioners now have draconian powers to gather the property tax. He agreed that some people are in fairyland.
“People are living in fairyland for the very reason that this Government has absorbed private debt and turned it into sovereign debt and that is cloud cuckoo land. We are paying more per capita on debt than any other country in Europe. It is absolute madness for such a small country,” he said.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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