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Ó Snodaigh invites SIPTU to join water charges protest

5 December, 2014 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh has outlined his hope that SIPTU join the water charges demonstration outside the Dáil on Wednesday.

Speaking in the Dáil today on the Water Services Bill, Deputy Ó Snodaigh stated:

“Sinn Féin are committed to overturning the unfair and unjust water charge.  We are an integral part of the Right2Water campaign. This campaign is a coalition of forces made up of trade unions along with political parties including Sinn Féin and community groups and campaigns.

“I welcome the recent statement issued by SIPTU that they will work with groups in the Right 2 Water campaign and I genuinely hope that SIPTU will join with us next Wednesday December 10th at the rally just outside this House on Merrion Square.

“People are already charged for water.  People already pay for their water through their taxes.  The taxes collected by the Revenue pay for essential services including water. Inexcusably, this revenue has been mismanaged by successive governments with the result that 46% of treated water is leaking out before it ever reaches our taps.

“The water charges have nothing to do with conservation.  Under the charges structure that this government intend to introduce if I went home this evening and turned on every tap in the house and left them running I’d still have to pay the same Bill regardless. The charges are simply about turning water into a commodity so that one day it can be privatised.

“Sinn Féin would hold a referendum to enshrine the public ownership of that body so it could never be privatised no matter who is in power without a referendum. Our track record of opposition to water charges has been resolute and unrivalled.  Sinn Féin’s own Minister in the Assembly, Conor Murphy successfully stopped domestic water charges from being introduced in the North, and we are determined to replicate this success in the South of Ireland.

“We are urging everybody to join in the Right2Water protest on Wednesday. Right 2 Water has been hugely successful in mobilising hundreds of thousands of people in opposition to the government’s water charges. With the power of peaceful protest, we can scrap these regressive charges once and for all and it is my sincere hope that SIPTU will join in the mass demonstration.”

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