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Government has no concept of environmental justice - Ó Clochartaigh

4 December, 2013

Speaking in the Seanad today on the Water Services Bill 2013, Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Let me state from the outset that the Water Services Bill (No2) 2013 is an inherently flawed and draconian document.

“The Bill takes control of water services away from local authorities and transfers it to Irish Water.

“This new company will be given power to install water meters and to charge families for the water they use.

“The Bill makes no provision for people on low incomes or for those living in poverty. In other words, under this legislation poor households will be charged the same for their water as An Taoiseach Edna Kenny.

“This is shameful and it betrays a complete and utter lack of consciousness around issues to do with environmental justice.

“Sinn Fein is against the privatization of water and against the introduction of water charges.

“The establishment of Irish Water and the imposition of water meters and water charges is at best ill thought out.

“Sinn Féin calls for the establishment of a National Water Sector Framework Team to oversee governance and capital investment in the sector.

“All the evidence suggests metering is a bad idea being enforced by a bad government that is hell bent on making ordinary families pay for the current economic disaster.

“This bill should be rejected and replaced with a proper plan for the co-ordination of water services that are fully and adequately funded by a progressive tax system.”

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