Sinn Féin - On Your Side

SDLP water conspiracy theory branded a sad joke

5 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy who heads up the party's opposition to water taxes has described the bizarre claim from SDLP MP Eddie McGrady that British NIO Ministers are forging ahead with the imposition of water taxes as part of a conspiracy to secure the re-establishment of the institutions as a 'sad joke'.

Mr Molloy said:

"The bizarre claim that the British government announced the introduction of water taxes as part of a 'conspiracy theory' to re-establish the political institutions is a sad joke. The reality is that the Reform and Reinvestment Initiative negotiated by Eddie McGrady's party Leader Mark Durkan paved the way for the introduction of water taxes.

"While I don't want to labour the point that the water tax is in reality an SDLP tax, I think it is important that across the broad political spectrum that we work together to stop the introduction of this form of unfair taxation dead in its tracks.

"The reason that people here are being targeted by the NIO from every direction is that SDLP finance ministers argued that we needed to raise more money from local sources and opposed to the Sinn Fein argument that we require a genuine peace dividend.

"However, I agree with Mr McGrady that we need to see a deal reached as soon as possible. Sinn Féin stand ready to do a deal that does not undermine the core principles of the agreement - power sharing, equality and the all Ireland architecture. It is the DUP that appear keen to long finger any progress. Mr McGrady would better serve all of the people if he stopped trying to score cheap political points and began to work with others such as Sinn Féin to oppose water charges and to continue to put pressure on both governments and the DUP to ensure that we get the real deal.

"Any such deal must include a greater understanding of the need to radically look at both the block grant allocation and the issue of rates and water taxes tied up with the Reform and Reinvestment Initiative." ENDS

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