Senator Paul Bradford raised the issue of NPPR penalties with Phil Hogan – Minister responsible for the NPPR . Read more about the NPPR here .
Paul Bradford mentioned that because of the recent publicity about the Household Charge – some owners of houses have only just realised they should have been paying NPPR since 2009 and are now also liable for penalties of €20 per month . He asked the minister about the possibility of him making some arrangement to encourage these people to regularise their affairs or assist these people?
(Someone who never registered for NPPR and who was liable since June 2009 will now be faced with a bill of around €1720 instead of the €600 charge .)
Minister Hogan said in the Senate ” I will introduce new arrangements whereby I will be in a position to stem the penalties that have applied since then and allow them to enter into an instalment arrangement with the local authority in order that they can discharge their liability. This will ease the financial pressure of having to pay a lump sum to deal with their compliance with the law in this area.”
It is not clear what the minister means by stem the penalties – but maybe we will find out soon?
Update – Feb 24th
This issue of people being unaware of the NPPR was raised in the Dail on 21st Feb 2012.
Minister Hogan stated :
Under the Act, it is a function of a local authority to collect non-principal private residence charges and late payment fees due to it and all charges and late payment fees imposed and payable to a local authority are under the care and management of the local authority concerned. In this regard, application of the legislation in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. Interpretation of the legislation is a matter for legal advice in individual cases and ultimately a matter for the Courts.
My Department is currently engaged with the County and City Managers’ Association in the development of guidelines for local authorities in relation to the operation of the “care and management” provisions of the legislation. In particular, this guidance will deal with situations where significant arrears of non-principal private residence charges and late payment fees have arisen and where a person can demonstrate genuine hardship in having to discharge their liability in a single payment. In such cases, the guidelines will set out the modalities for local authorities, exercising their functions under the care and management provisions, including where payment of the outstanding liability in a single payment would result in hardship, to enter into payment arrangements for the discharge of outstanding liabilities in instalments over a specified period. The guidelines are at an advanced stage of preparation and will be issued as soon as possible.
Other replies recently by Minister Hogan have consited of the lines —–
” collection of the charge is placed under the care and management of the relevant local authority. It is open to an individual who may be experiencing hardship in meeting their payment obligations under the Act to make contact with the relevant local authority in the first instance to establish if there is a basis for addressing the matter.”