Sinn Féin today held a photo-opportunity outside Leinster today as part of its campaign of opposition to the introduction of water charges
Speaking at the event Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South Central, Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said that the party “will mount a vigorous campaign of opposition” to any attempts by the FF/Green Government to introduce charges, which he described as a “regressive” form of double taxation. Deputy Ó Snodaigh was joined by a number of Sinn Féin representatives including, Mary Lou McDonald, Cllr Dessie Ellis, Cllr Sean Crowe, Cllr. Larry O’Toole and Cllr. Seamas McGratten. They were pictured with a giant tap with €500 notes pouring from it.
He said, “Everybody acknowledges that clean water is a precious resource which costs money to produce. Indeed everybody justifiably understood that it was already paid for it through their taxes.
“Minister Gormley is trying to claim that water metering and additional taxes are necessary to prevent wastage and over consumption. While preventing waste is a laudable and desirable motivation we believe the course being set by the Minister is a disingenuous attempt to introduce other revenue streams for the Government by targeting hard pressed householders for additional taxation.
“Depending on what figures you go by up to 40% of treated water is being lost through leaking pipes and poor infrastructure before it even reaches households. Households it is reckoned account for just 16% of water wastage. Logic would suggest that the first port of call in any attempts to stop wastage would mean addressing the antiquated water infrastructure that currently exists and targeting businesses who still owe almost €30 million to local authorities.
“Introducing very expensive water metering systems across the country to address the estimated 16% of households who waste water makes no sense whatsoever. Educating people about the necessity of water conservation and assisting households in introducing water saving technology would be a much more economically sensible approach.
“It is this reality that leads Sinn Féin to believe that the motivation behind this move by Minister Gormley and the FF/Green Government is about trying to create new tax revenue streams rather than conserve water. It is a regressive form of taxation that will further punish already hard pressed households. We will be mounting a vigorous campaign of opposition.” ENDS