Thursday, 19 April 2012

Water Charges are a Bridge too far for Wicklow Residents

Sinn Féin county councillor John Brady has slammed Fine Gael and the
Labour party for pushing ahead with water meters saying its a bridge
too far for Wicklow residents who simply wont be able to afford to pay
for the basic human right.

Speaking after the creation of the new utility company Irish Water
which is tasked by the Government to roll out the water metering Sinn
Féin councillor John Brady said  "It is clear that Fine Gael is
setting the agenda on water services while the Labour Party is
willingly falling into line.Water charges are an unacceptable
additional stealth charge on households. The establishment of Irish
Water is the first step in privatising our water. Wicklow county
council recently passed a Sinn Féin motion opposing this new utility
company and the installation and charging of water. This was passed
onto the government, however this along with all the public opposition
to these stealth charges are falling on deaf ears. Fine Gael and
Labour are ideologically committed to privatisation and we believe
that the creation of Irish Water, is laying the foundation for this"

Cllr Brady continued “Sinn Féin and other parties have made
submissions to what was to be a public consultation on the reform of
the water sector in Ireland. That process has not even concluded, but
the government has clearly made decisions on the issue, ignoring the
democratic process. In the North, Sinn Féin has prevented the
introduction of water charges and the privatisation of the water
services and will continue to do so. Here we have proposed that
investment in water services should focus on repair of the
infrastructure to stop the massive waste of water leaking from pipes,
instead of imposing more pressure on people already struggling in this
economic crisis.”

The Sinn Fein councillor went onto say “ Following the introduction of
the Household charge, septic tank charges and increased taxes forcing
people to pay for water is literately a bridge too far for people who
are struggling to survive, access to clean water is a basic human
right and the threats that people will have their water cut if they
cant pay is scandalous but not surprising from this government. This
approach has been wholly unacceptable and any attempt to force
households to pay for water will be opposed every inch of the way by
Sinn Féin"

The government clearly has not learned its lesson from the septic tank
and household charge debacle. Communities are angry. The news that
households will now be paying over €700 for water meters will only
compound that anger. Struggling families simply cannot afford this
charge. Sinn Féin made a detailed and solution-based submission to the
consultation process and we will continue to use every opportunity to
oppose the government's plans to impose water rates on citizens.”
concluded Cllr Brady.

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