Stanley attacks attempt to railroad water charges penalties
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment Brian Stanley TD attacked the government this morning on their attempt to railroad through penalties to be imposed on people who do not register with Irish Water or pay their water charges. He was speaking in a debate on the Government’s introduction of amendments to a totally unrelated piece of legislation that deals with such items as dog breeding and Killarney national park.
Deputy Stanley said: “This represents a total abuse of Dáil procedures. A whole raft of Government amendments seeks to railroad through what should in reality be two separate bills on waste and on water charges.
“Sinn Féin completely opposes this and will be opposing the Government amendments in their entirety. Those amendments should be rejected and the Government forced to come back to the House with two new bills that then proceed through the normal stages that legislation has to go through in order to become law. That is particularly important given the serious consequences that the proposals regarding people who do not pay their water charges will have.
“We will not get a chance to see an amended Bill as would be normal prior to the Bill going to report stage, so we should have the facility to submit amendments right up until report stage is taken. This is a shoddy attempt to force through punitive measures against people who have not paid their water charges.
“It is a clear attempt to force through these measures before the summer recess, and in panic reaction to the obvious fact that huge numbers of people are not paying their bills. That fact is proven by the refusal of the Minister or of Irish Water to say how many people have paid their bills.”