Gerry Adams TD tells Taoiseach that 'game is up' on Water Tax 'fiasco'
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD told the Taoiseach in the Dáil today that the “game is up” in relation what he called the Water Tax “fiasco” and reiterated his call for Water Charges to be scrapped.
Mr Adams asked the Taoiseach to clear up the contradiction between a statement made by Tánaiste Joan Burton when she quoted specific figures in the Dáil for water tax bills only for her statement to be flatly rejected by Mr Kenny.
Gerry Adams said:
“Taoiseach, yesterday the Tánaiste told the Dáil that a family of four adults would pay a Water Tax bill of €200 euro. Her statement was later quickly and flatly rejected by her own spokesperson and by your spokesperson.
“There were then media briefings from the Government that the Tanaiste was expressing a “personal view”. So, here we have the Taoiseach repudiating the Tanaiste. The question is, which one of you is tweedle dum? And who is tweedle dee? Taoiseach, is the Tanaiste not part of the Government?
“You rushed the Water Charges through the Dail before Christmas and here we are facing into Christmas again and you still won’t tell citizens how much you are going to charge them for water.
“Yesterday you majored on the need for clarity. So, could you set out for the Dáil today, precisely what the Government position is? Is the Tánaiste correct in the figures she quoted or is she incorrect?
“Yesterday you refused to scrap Water Charges. So, how much will you charge families for water? Struggling families have the right to know. Remember, back in the day, when you said you would be different from all the rest? You said ‘Paddy likes to know’.
“Well, tell Paddy and Patricia now. Was the Tánaiste right in the figure she put forward yesterday? And if she wasn’t right, please tell the Dáil how much you are going to charge for water.”
The Sinn Fein Leader said the Government is totally dysfunctional:
“The Minister who introduced the Water Charges legislation says it has “abjectly failed”. He described it as “arrogant, uncaring, and a cossetted quango with a bonus culture”.
“Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy today accuses you of having “manipulated and abused” the Dáil, in the way you rammed through legislation establishing Irish Water. He says “the credibility of Irish Water lies in tatters”.
“Following unprecedented public protests, right across this State and a very clear rejection of your Water Tax in any shape or form, what you are telling me is that the Government has no idea of how much it is going to charge householders.
“Meanwhile Minister Kelly has threatened that Revenue will be used to chase those who cannot pay the Water Tax. He is also demanding that citizens hand over their PPS numbers to Irish Water.
“Can you tell me if you have authorised, or indeed, has the Tanaiste authorised Irish Water to write to every local authority in the State seeking the names and addresses of all their council tenants?
“Taoiseach, is this what you mean by listening to the concerns expressed by citizens who took to the streets in every county of this State last Saturday? Is this what you mean when you said yesterday that you would “act on their calls”?
“Taoiseach, the game is up in relation to the fiasco of your attempt to impose a tax on water. Will you now recognise this reality and cease your ultimately doomed attempts to impose a tax that is not and will not be accepted by the citizens of this State?”