Deputy Brian Stanley has described the Government’s apparent commitment on water charges as “a fig leaf to hide Labour’s embarrassment at reneging on yet another election promise”.
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, who once again reiterated his party’s opposition to domestic water charges and household metering, accused the government of merely moving figures around to protect Labour in advance of the local elections.
“The introduction of water charges... are unjust, unfair and simply another cost to the Irish taxpayers who have been burdened with the responsibility of paying back billions of euro of banking debt,” said Deputy Stanley.
“People will in effect be paying three times for their water. Not only are water charges being proposed but the Local Property Tax is going to provide €486 million in subvention to Irish Water instead of supporting local services as was claimed. On top of that a considerable amount of money has already been given to the new entity from the Central Exchequer. This is outrageous.”
He said he did not believe that the €240 average charge estimated by the Government is plausible, and does not take account of the actual costs of establishing and running the new entity.
“How can the Government assure us that the average cost will be €240, including exemptions and allowances? Have they been granted a further derogation from the EU Directive?” he asked.
He said the Government has continually targeted those who are most in need and this demonstrates once again that Labour have failed to act as the Fine Gael watchdog it promised it would be.
“I fear that any apparent commitment on water charges is simply a fig leaf to hide Labour’s embarrassment at reneging on yet another election promise, and solely designed to get the Government parties over the upcoming elections.
“After that we will see what the true cost of water will be to Irish households,” Deputy Stanley concluded.