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McDonald challenges Taoiseach on cutting water supply to homes

18 April, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD, this morning criticised the Taoiseach for failing to rule out the prospect of cutting off water supply to homes when changes are introduced in 2014.
Deputy McDonald said:
“They say that lightning does not strike twice but the minister for the environment, community and local government, Phil Hogan, seems to be disproving that maxim.
“The Taoiseach has stated there will be a number of years for the details of this scheme to be worked out and that the regulator must have an eye to the consumer and hardships that might ensue.
“Do those on the government benches have that eye to the citizen because the reaction of the general public to yet another charge is one of wondering where it is imagined people will get the money and wherewithal to meet the cost.
“Substantial numbers of people have not registered and will not register for the household charge for the very simple reason that they cannot afford it. Equally, hardship will ensue.
“The Taoiseach has made a virtue of the fact that he will not touch income tax and it is clearly a matter of doctrine that the government will not tax the very wealthy. Government is also fairly gung-ho about imposing charge after charge on lower and middle income people. What will the charge be for the installation of meters? Will the Taoiseach give a guarantee that whatever way this scheme works, the government will not countenance, in any circumstances, cutting off water supply to homes across the state?
“Water is essential for a decent standard or quality of living. The Taoiseach has failed to indicate in any substantive way for the citizens of the state what level of charge they will face.
“It is astonishing that the Taoiseach will not rule out the prospect of cutting off water supply to homes.” ENDS

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