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UUP position on Water criticised

23 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Regional Development Spokesperson Raymond McCartney MLA has criticised the Ulster Unionist Party in relation to their most recent public statements on the issue of Water reform published in the media earlier today.

McCartney said,

"It is a matter of public record that the entire Executive unanimously agreed to the introduction of household payments towards the financing of our water and sewerage services here in 2009/10.

"Payments were deferred once the local institutions were restored to provide an open and transparent process to begin which would regain public trust and confidence which was evidently lost under direct rule.

"An Independent panel undertook to explore the best way forward making recommendations in two reports to the Executive. Any proposals which evolve are the outworking of the decision to endorse household payments last October.

"It is ludicrous for individual political representatives to now publicly oppose what they have already signed up to as a party in October of last year - the Ulster Unionist Party appears to be speaking from both sides of the mouth on this issue."

He further added;

"From our own Party's perspective, any proposal which would rule out double charging, universal metering, privatisation and reduces household bills to a level lower than what would have been the case under direct rule and also provides protections for those who can least afford to pay would be welcomed.

"Sinn Féin are actively working with all of the other parties to get the best deal for people here and I await the outcome of these ongoing Inter-Party political discussions at Executive level which are due to conclude shortly before a full public consultation then commences." ENDS

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