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Sinn Féin won’t support water charges through the back door – Munster

5 October, 2017 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster yesterday criticised the government and Fianna Fáil for ignoring the will of the people on the matter of water charges.

Speaking in the Dáil on the Water Services Bill last night, Deputy Munster criticised Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil for their determined efforts to introduce water charges “through the back door”.

Deputy Munster said:

“This legislation is not credible, and it deliberately leaves open the option of extending and increasing charges for any future Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael Government.

“The water usage myth needs to be addressed. No evidence exists that we have any deliberate domestic water wastage in this state. Irish Water's own data show that household water consumption in this state is one of the lowest rates in the OECD.”

Deputy Munster also questioned the ability of the government to measure excess usage of water, if 42% of households in the state do not have a water meter.

“Forty percent of treated water is wasted as a result of leaking pipes in the public system. Given that forty two percent of households do not have meters, how will it be determined whether there is excessive water usage by a household or whether water is leaking from a pipe in the public system? Unless, of course, the government is providing for a future government to extend the roll-out of domestic water meters for the remainder of households.

“The government thinks it will con the people all over again with this plan. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil wanted water charges all along; only the power of the people on the streets put a stop to their plans. People power ground them to a halt, and it seems that they have not learned any lessons from that.

“My party and I will not support this Bill. It is time the government acknowledged the will of the people.” 

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