Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Brian Stanley TD - housing,environment & transport - Ard Fheis 2012

26 May, 2012

The priorities for Sinn Féin are to ensure families across this country live in safe sustainable communities with services paid for by a progressive fair tax system.

In my role as party spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government I have held Minister Phil Hogan to account on major issues, including Septic tank charges, house hold charges and the proposed water charges.

I have demanded the minister introduce a Climate Change Bill and introduce local government reform based on democratic accountability, inclusion and consultation.

We have worked with the community and voluntary sector in opposing cuts and I have worked with trade unions to ensure employees in the community sector are properly and adequately represented.Sinn Féin remains absolutely opposed to the Household Charge. We have opposed it at every opportunity both inside and outside Leinster House.

The household charge is a fraud. The government cut the funding to local government by €175 million and used it to bailout the banks. The same government then charge householders €100 for local government services already paid for in your taxes.

Households now pay for waste collection, pay €500 to call out the fire brigade and if this government have their way you will also pay for the water you drink. And despite their bully boy tactics and propaganda the government and in particular Minister Hogan have failed to win the argument.

Nearly 50% of households are standing up to the right wing tactics of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail and by boycotting this unjust charge. I would like to take the opportunity to highlight one particular important initiative taken by our office.

We have drafted and submitted a bill which, if passed by the Dáil, will reverse the household charge. Our bill entitled, the Local Government Household Charge Repeal Bill 2012 will be taken for debate in the Dáil on June 19th next.

Our ‘Back the Bill Campaign’ aims to build support for our bill. I am happy to say we have already received support from both Unite and Mandate trade unions. We will, over the next 3 weeks, be campaigning for support from other unions, community groups and TDs.

Our bill will give a voice to all those who have campaigned in recent months against the Household Charges. I would urge all opposition TDs and in particular Labour government TDs to come out and support our bill.

I would encourage you to get your union, community group, residents association to Back the Bill Campaign and ensure the households charge are reduced to the rubbish bin of history on June 20th.

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