Minister must compromise on septic tank funding
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has today urged the government to avoid any further conflict with rural Ireland and provide full funding for the upgrade of septic tanks.
While questioning the Minister in the Dáil today, Stanley said:
“Sinn Féin welcomes the long overdue publication of the draft standards for septic tanks. But rural householders demand equality with their urban neighbours.
“Some €2.7 billion was spent in the years from 2000 to 2007 on improving waste water treatment plants in urban areas. This was funded by tax payers’ money, urban and rural.
“Meanwhile we now have a situation whereby rural householders are expected to foot the bill themselves to meet the current waste water standards. This is totally unjust and unworkable as many of these householders are in mortgage arrears and have seen their incomes collapse as a result of unemployment and the last five austerity budgets.
“There is a requirement on the Minister Hogan’s department to provide full funding to ensure this work in carried out. Otherwise we will be dragging householders through the courts and criminalising law bidding citizens.
“The government should compromise in order to avoid further confrontation. He would do worse than learn from the last nights turf cutting debate. Sometimes it is best for a government to engage, listen and compromise.
“If we apply the current draft standards, on a risk based approach there will be a modest number of septic tanks that will need remedial works.
“The investment in upgrading of domestic septic tanks will also provide much needed employment and economic stimulus for local economies.”