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Ó Snodaigh launches Sinn Féin campaign against water charges

30 June, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh this evening launched a campaign against the proposed introduction of water charges.

Speaking at a public meeting in the Ballyfermot Civic Centre this evening, which was also addressed by the North’s Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Sinn Féin is totally and utterly opposed to water charges and we will mount a vigorous campaign of opposition to their introduction by the Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government.

“We all recognise that clean water is a precious resource that costs money to produce but this is already paid for through general taxation. Introducing an extra charge is a regressive form of double taxation.

“The Government and the Green Party in particular are trying to bring in this charge in the guise that it is a measure to help preserve water. Tonight I want to put that myth to bed.

“Government officials have admitted that metering will only redcuce houshold water consumption by 16%, while up to 40% of all treated water (used by homes and businesses) is being lost through leaking pipes and poor infrastructure. Anybody seeking to preserve water would come to the logical conclusion that fixing our leaking pipes should be the first port of call rather than wasting further millions of euros fitting water meters to households.

“But of course the introduction of water charges is not about preserving water. That is just the wooden horse. What it is really about is targeting already hard pressed households for additional revenue streams for Government while businesses who already owe almost €30million in water charges to local authorities are not being pursued for payment.

“The Government should be focussed on fixing our crumbling water infrastructure while educating people about the importance of water preservation and assisting in the introduction of water saving technologies. This would not only be the most sensible approach but the best and most fair way to preserve water.

“The fact is that people already pay for water through general taxation. In this current financial atmosphere hard pressed families should not be made pay again. They didn’t create this mess and they need to be protected from the affects of it. Sinn Féin will be mounting a vigorous campaign of opposition to this regressive double tax.” ENDS

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