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Crunch time for water committee – Ó Broin

28 February, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Speaking ahead of the water committee meeting this afternoon, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Water Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that it is “crunch time” for the committee.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The key issue for the Committee always has been whether the parties will vote to abolish domestic water charges. Sinn Féin has been unequivocal on our position to completely abolish domestic water charges.

“The idea of an ‘excess charge’ is a Trojan horse and is being used by Fianna Fáil to get them off the hook in relation to their election promise to abolish water charges. The reality is that according to Irish Water’s own data household water consumption in this state is one of the lowest in the OECD. Irish citizens use an average of 123 litres per capita, compared to England where people use on average 140 litres.

“The excess charge itself could cost more to administer than what it would bring it in revenue. This would be another waste of taxpayers’ money. The introduction of an excess charge would also require the continuation of expensive universal metering.

“Leaving the door open to any sort of charge could lead to domestic charges being reintroduced in full. Given their track record on domestic waste charges, how could anyone trust Fianna Fail or Fine Gael not to increase water charges in the future. In fact, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on water Barry Cowen TD has stated as much, confirming last year that the party would reintroduce water charges down the line if elected to Government. 

“Sinn Féin will keep the promises we made on water charges. We will be voting for the total abolition of domestic water charges. We believe that water services should be funded through general taxation and government borrowing as recommended by NewERA to the committee.” 

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