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Sinn Féin seek a mandate to abolish water charges – Doherty

30 December, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has reiterated his party’s firm position that Sinn Féin in government would not hesitate to abolish water charges and remove the bureaucratic quagmire of Irish Water.

Deputy Doherty also said that the party is seeking a mandate from the people to enact to enter government and scrap water charges once and for all, saying that “it is clear that the government does not have the support of the people for its water charges.  This election provides the people with an opportunity to vote the charges out.”

The Donegal Southwest TD said:

“To those that have paid and those that have refused to pay Sinn Féin’s message is clear, if in Government, Sinn Fein will abolish household water charges. To those that have refused to pay or are considering not paying, my commitment to you is if Sinn Féin forms part of the next government we will not pursue any citizen or household who has not paid.

“We will repeal the draconian legislation forced through the Oireachtas by the Fine Gael/Labour majority put this saga in the dustbin of history where it belongs.

“Providing reliable high quality public services and infrastructure including water and sewerage services - which are economically sustainable – is a major challenge which needs to be addressed. 

“Sinn Féin has first-hand experience and a strong record of delivering exactly this in the north. Sinn Féin ruled out any future privatisation of these critical public services by ensuring that the Executive, under the Department for Regional Development, remained the sole shareholder of the newly established utility company, NI Water.

“According to the Utility Regulator in the north, households save an average of €490 annually as a result of our decision. 

“It has been our stated position for quite some time that the purpose of a public water company should be to provide clean and plentiful water supplies to businesses and households, along with ancillary services such as waste removal, protection against flooding and other important functions. 

“The devastation wrought on our country in recent weeks has only strengthened the case for a public body that is focused on these issues, not spending millions of euro on bills which are ignored and millions more rebranding; as if the Irish People could ever forget Irish Water.” 

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