Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Consumer Council moves Water Tax debate onto sensible ground

5 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy, who heads the party's campaign against water taxes, has said that the publication of the Consumer Councils proposals on water is an important contribution that moves the debate onto sensible ground.

Mr Molloy said:

"The approach of British direct rule ministers to the issue of water taxes is characterised by dishonesty.

"Sinn Féin are committed to stopping the imposition of these charges in 2006 and have given the clear commitment to rolling back the water tax in any future Executive. We believe that all party support for this position will make the intention of direct rule ministers to proceed with this regardless of widespread opposition totally untenable.

"These proposals from the Consumer Council are an important contribution to the debate. While Sinn Féin do not agree with all of their recommendations, these proposals clearly highlight the need for the NIO to abandon their plans in order that we have a proper fully informed debate.

"The debate must be about how we pay for water and exactly what we are paying for.

"The British government need to come clean about the financing of water. They need to accept responsibility for delivering compensation to address the failure of successive British direct rule administrations to invest in water services, to openly recognise that we are all paying a significant amount of money for water services through regional rates and to tackle the accountancy trickery that involves us paying for our own water resources.

"Until the British government deals with compensation and comes clean on its shady accountancy the unseemly rush to introduce a separate water tax should be halted." ENDS

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