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Government talk about not privatising water contradicts its actions

21 March, 2013 - by Brian Stanley TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD, said today that the government's talk about keeping Irish Water in public ownership “flies in the face of reality”.

Stanley said: “As part of today's Global Water Day, SIPTU has organised a Hands off Public Water rally outside Leinster House to protest against EU policies which will lead to the privatisation of our water.

“This is part of an EU-wide day of action highlighting the threats of deregulation to the water sector. This protest comes at a critical time as the Irish government pursues their own privatisation agenda.

“Sinn Féin supports today's protest. We fully understand the threat posed to the 3,000 jobs in the local authorities’ water sector by the transfer of assets out of local democratic ownership to the newly established Irish Water.

“We have opposed the government's establishment of Irish Water as subsidiary of An Bord Gais. Irish Water is a Trojan horse for privatisation. Government statements that they ‘have no intention to privatise Irish Water’ mean nothing in the face of EU deregulation and this government's own commitment to sell off sections of An Bord Gais.

“We will be meeting later today with SIPTU to discuss how we can work together to stop the privatisation of the water sector.

“Sinn Féin will outline our plan for the establishment of a National Water Sector Framework Team. This team will consist of senior management from local authorities and the Department of Environment. Its function will be to oversee the capital investment needed to upgrade our crumbling water system and the installation of district metering. It will lead to better crossborder co-operation in managing river basins and delivering high quality water for domestic and commercial use.”
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