Stanley – Concessions on water charges are con job
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Brian Stanley TD, has described the concessions on water charges to be announced today as an introductory offer, and a ‘con job’ designed to lure people into agreeing to pay a charge that will inevitably be increased to much higher levels in years to come.
Deputy Stanley said:
“The fact that the initial bills for water will now be substantially lower than those announced by the Energy Regulator at the beginning of October is a victory for opponents of the water charges. The Government now needs to go one step further and abolish the water charges altogether.
“If they are not abolished then households will face much higher bills when the concessions are due to end after 2018. In the meantime if Irish Water is retained it will accumulate further massive debts over the next four years. Will that be handed on to households after 2018?
“In relation to the proposed plebiscite, it is clear that this is a ham-fisted response to the massive support for the proposal to safeguard against privatisation in the Bill I moved on Tuesday evening. As I understand it, the Government will amend the legislation to ensure that a plebiscite would have to be held if there was a proposal to privatise the water service. If that is the case then that could also be taken out of the legislation through amendment.
“Therefore the only safeguard would be to change the constitution as is proposed in the Sinn Féin Bill.”