Minister Burton oblivious to hardship water charges will bring – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD today challenged the Tánaiste in the Dáil as to whether she understood the true hardship that water charges would bring to households across the country.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh called on Minister Burton to listen to the people who have said water charges are unfair, we cannot pay them and we should not be asked to pay them.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“I am trying to gauge whether the Minister is fully aware of the hardship that water charges will wreak on households across this state and whether she appreciates the gross inadequacy of the measures she announced in the Budget.
“Minister, upwards of 150,000 people took to the streets last weekend to say no to water charges.
“I have no doubt these protests have put the fear of God into you and your coalition partner. The marchers included young, old and families, the unemployed and those in employment. They were united in their directive to this government – water charges are unfair, we cannot pay them and we should not be asked to pay them.
“And your government’s response to their demand: ‘Sorry – we got it a little bit wrong because we were rushing, our communications were bad and sure we’ll see about freezing the charges at a set level for a bit longer.’ You miss the point.
“Do you intend to increase your so-called water support payment to cover the full cost of the water charges for those dependent on social welfare? And introduce equivalent support for the low paid?
“Do you think it is reasonable for people to assume that once water charges are introduced they will increase and become a greater burden on households in the years ahead?
“And if you don’t think that will happen then why would you need to have a freeze on charges at all?”