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Debt bill is a government last ditch attempt to beat water protesters – Ellis

3 July, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West Dessie Ellis has today described the government’s Civil Debt Bill as a grubby and underhanded attempt to beat the anti-water charge movement. Speaking in a Dáil debate on the Bill which would provide for attachment orders to take water charges from the income of people who do not pay, he said the government were engaging in bullying tactic because they had failed to scare people into paying the water charges so far.

Deputy Ellis continued:

“Sinn Fein oppose this Bill and the people of Ireland have made clear they oppose this Bill with the way they have come out on the streets in tens of thousands to say no to the unfair and unacceptable burden of water charges.

“The government are ramming through this Bill will the sole intention of killing the anti-water charges movement by forcing people to pay and giving them no option for resistance.

“The reality is that this is a massive victory for the anti-water charges movement despite presenting a new and considerable challenge.

“With this Bill, the government have admitted defeat on a number of fronts. Most starkly, they have utterly failed to bully and scare the people into paying the water charges, but they have also failed to dampen down the massive opposition to this government which has flowed from the water charges protests into a wider anti-austerity sentiment.

“In a deeply shameful week for this government, this is just another step into the mire.

“It is also contemptible how this government have approached this Bill, so late in the day and putting it forward so hastily under the cover of Law Reform Commission recommendations when the truth is, it is a grubby attempt to push through water charges which has failed the test of public opinion so miserably. 

“Government TD’s may go home today, thinking they have got one over on the people; that they have struck a blow against the anti-austerity movement, but they will be fooling themselves.” 

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