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Sinn Féin will continue to block introduction of water charges

25 April, 2011

Sinn Féin Assembly Candidate for South Antrim Mitchel McLaughlin has said that Sinn Féin in government has delivered on its pledge to block water charges and will continue to do in the new Assembly and Executive.

Mr McLaughlin said

“In our 2007 manifesto Sinn Féin promised to block the introduction of water charges for households and that is exactly what we did. In this year’s Assembly manifesto we pledge to do the same again and commit to do this whilst other parties try to soften up householders for the introduction of water charges and privatisation of this vital service.

“Just because a handful of economists believe that water charges should be introduced based on the amount of revenue it would generate for government does not make it right nor does it justify the pressures that would be put on struggling households as a result.

“The Alliance Party is in full support of water charges. The SDLP want to mutualise NI Water and bring in water charges by the back door. People should not be fooled by this. They should look at the example of Welsh Water, which is a mutualised company, and charge customers £411 annually which is actually higher than the average charges for privatised companies over in Britain! The SDLP’s proposals will inevitably lead to water charges and that is why Sinn Féin will block any such proposals at the Executive.

“People already pay for their water through their rates and any double taxation proposals from other parties are totally unjust no matter how they dress them up. Many households are already struggling to deal with rising fuel costs, rising food costs, negative equity on their homes and unsympathetic banks. Water charges should not be added to that list and Sinn Féin is the only major party who is opposed outright to their introduction.” ENDS

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