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Adams challenges government guillotine move on septic tanks debate

25 January, 2012

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams today challenged the decision by the government to impose a guillotine on the debate on the Water Services Bill in the Dáil.

The Sinn Féin leader said:

“This legislation discriminates against citizens across rural Ireland and has not been properly discussed. Like others, my party has brought forward a series of amendments, some of which may not even be reached.

“Sinn Féin is proposing, for example, a grants system to ensure that those who cannot bear the cost involved can be assisted. The standards against which septic tanks will be measured have not yet been set down and homeowners do not even know the size of the bill they could be faced with to upgrade their septic tank.”

The government parties voted down Deputy Adams’ proposal to extend the debate.

Speaking afterward Deputy Adams said he was “disappointed at the refusal of the government parties to agree to a full and thorough debate on this issue. Fine Gael and Labour claim to be for open and transparent government but on this very important threat to rural households they have chosen to block the debate. This is unacceptable and Sinn Féin will continue to use whatever time is available in the Dáil to oppose this legislation and to propose positive and effective alternatives.”

The Sinn Féin leader described the measures being introduced by the government as ‘”inequitable, unfair and discriminatory” and he expressed his concern that “many rural families will now find themselves faced with another charge and the possibility of significant costs to repair or replace septic tanks.”

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