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John Speller told to 'abandon water tax plans

30 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson, Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy who heads the party's anti-water charges campaign has told British direct rule Minster John Speller to abandon plans to imposes water taxes .

Mr Molloy said:

"The British government has failed to make the case for its water tax plans.

"They have also failed to take on board the issues raised by political parties, by the consumer council, trade unions, and campaign groups such as Help the Aged. We have been paying for our water through rates. The combined rates increases and water taxes will place huge burdens on people living here. No one believes that this is not just an attempt by the British Treasury to force through its privatisation Agenda.

"Enough is enough.

"The terms of the consultation put forward by John Speller would be laughable if this was not such a serious issue with the potential to throw thousands of people into greater financial hardship - not least the most vulnerable in our society.

"Whatever way the department dress these plans up the reality is that they will have a very very adverse impact on the poorest people in our society and the working poor in particular.

"I have some words of advice for the hapless Mr Speller - abandon your water tax plans.

"I know that the direct rule minister has refused to listen to the views expressed locally. Clearly what he is attempting to do in launching this pre-emptive and bogus assessment is stifle opposition that is growing more confident with every day that it can kill his water tax plan.

"It is up to the British government to compensate for the decades of under investment in our infrastructure. It is totally unacceptable that the British government is attempting to penalise people here for its mistakes." ENDS

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