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Incoming Managing Director of Irish Water should abandon plans for water charges – Stanley

29 January, 2013 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on the environment, community & local government, Brian Stanley TD has today said that the incoming Managing Director of Irish Water, John Tierney, should abandon any attempt to introduce domestic water charges.

Stanley said, “As City Manager for Dublin City Council, John Tierney is only too aware of the disastrous effect of years of government under funding for our water system. He must also realise that the introduction of domestic water charges will do little to conserve water and will do nothing to upgrade a water system not fit for purpose.

“The government is currently introducing the bill to establish Irish Water and give it powers to install water meters and to charge households for water. The idea was first introduced by Fianna Fáil in 2010 and is now being implemented by the current government.

“The introduction of water charges will mean the public will be paying three times for the water they drink. Firstly in their general taxes, secondly through this new charge and finally they will pay through the National Pension Reserve Fund which is being used to fund the installation of water meters.

“According to the European Commission the progress of the introduction of water charges is ‘slow’. Meanwhile the full roll out installation will take years. Today’s announcement is liable to appease the government’s European masters and buy some time for the on-going task of introducing water charges.

“The installation of 1.3 million water meters will prove to be costly and very inefficient. Experts, including Irish Academy of Engineers and the Local Authority Professional Officers have given estimates of up to €1.2 billion to cover the cost of the installation. Meanwhile in England private companies are still attempting to install water meters twenty years after water meters were first introduced.

“Sinn Féin has actively campaigned against water charges. The government can expect stiff resistance from householders right across this state and Sinn Féin will be standing shoulder to shoulder in that resistance.”


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