Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD has today called on Minister Hogan to stop spinning yarns and. misinformation about water charges.
Stanley was responding to the announcement by Minister Hogan that the government will be distributing two million leaflets on water charges to households.
“These leaflets are a waste of tax payers’ money. They are no more than government propaganda sheets. They know they are losing the battle over water charges before it has even begun.
“The leaflets fail to inform when charges will actually be imposed. They fail to inform people how much water charges will be. It tells us that the charge will be based on occupancy and usage, but there will not be any ability to pay clause. This means the lone parent pays the same as the over paid government minister.
“The government claims that 186,000 meters will be installed this year with another 400,000 installed in 2014. We have consistently warned that this will prove to be a costly burden on the tax payer. It has been twenty years since Britain first introduced water meters and the installations are still not complete.
“In his panic to try and sell water charges Minister Hogan has mislead the public by saying we are the only region in Europe not paying for our water. The minister knows only too well that no such charge exists in the north of Ireland. Households pay rates and that covers a multitude of services including a water service, school transport, health care and waste collection.
“Sinn Féin will oppose the water charges bill this week in the Dail. The bill is unfair, unjust and unworkable. If the bill is passed then the government can expect strong opposition from the public to water charges. Sinn Fein will stand shoulder to shoulder with households who resist water charges.”