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Taking unpaid water charges from wages or social welfare payments would be another serious attack on ordinary people - Cllr Kathleen Funchion

6 May, 2015 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin Carlow Kilkenny by-election candidate Cllr Kathleen Funchion has said that taking unpaid water charges from people’s wages or social welfare payments would represent another serious attack on ordinary people.

Cllr Funchion made the comments as the cabinet meets today to discuss the move.

She said;

“Taking unpaid water charges directly from people’s wages or social welfare payments would be a step too far. It would represent yet another serious attack on the financial stability of ordinary people.

“Fine Gael and the Labour Party still don’t get it. There are many people who simply cannot afford to pay water charges. A great number of families are already struggling under the weight of the bills that they already have to pay.

“To take unpaid water charges, directly from wages or social welfare payment would amount to gross violation of people’s well being and their ability to make ends meet.

“Families are living week to week on very tight household budgets. Paying water charges is just beyond their reach. It is an unfair tax on what is the one of the most basic of human rights.

“People depending on social welfare payments are amongst the most vulnerable in our society. They cannot afford to have this deduction imposed upon them.

“The government is acting like they should be applauded for removing the threat of jail for those who don’t pay. It is a damning indictment of Fine Gael and the Labour Party that such a threat was made in the first place.

“Instead of jailing people, the government is discussing the idea of putting their hands directly into the pockets of people who cannot afford to give any more.

“It is disturbing to know the lengths to which this government will consider going in order to make people pay this regressive charge.

“They talk of a recovery yet here we see another factor as to why ordinary people just don’t see it.

“This move will cause even further hardship and stress in home through this state. It is the latest chapter of a policy agreed by Fianna Fáil with the Troika in 2010 and implemented with great zeal by Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

“A vote for Sinn Féin in this by-election is not just a vote against water charges. A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for the abolishment of water charges.”

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