Labour should pull the plug on Water Charges – Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has criticised the Labour Party for its support for water charges which he says will penalise families on low and middle incomes.
Speaking today Senator Ó Clochartaigh said;
“I am amazed that the Labour party in government is not opposing water charges which penalise low and middle income families.
“The government is pushing through legislation this week which will impose an extra tax on hard pressed households.
“The government is pretending that this bill is about water conservation measures but when pressed on the issue in the Seanad, Minister Fergus O’Dowd said that he has no intention of introducing grant aid for families to put in place remedial measures such as rainwater harvesting systems, dual flush cisterns and auto-stop taps to help reduce the amounts of water they use.
“The Minister is refusing to say what free allocation households will be given, how much people will pay and they are also adamant that inability to pay will be no excuse for non-payment. They will come after the money by whatever means necessary, even if families are struggling.
“The government is asking us to buy a pig in a poke, to support legislation even though the Minister hasn’t, by his own admission, got most of the answers we need to important questions we are raising.
“It is disgraceful that the Labour party are practically silent in the debate when they should be supporting our calls for a total rethink of this regressive and badly thought out legislation.”