Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Staunton - uniform charge is regressive and unfair

3 July, 2003

Sinn Féin North Belfast representative Cathy Staunton speaking at the party's press conference opposing the introduction of water charges said:

"The proposed charges will fall outside the rate rebate system - there would be no relief for low-income households in any system of charging for water and sewerage services in any of the options suggested by the consultation.

"The introduction of a uniform charge is regressive - lower income households would pay proportionally more of their disposable income on this charge.

A charge based on the value of the property would discriminate against those who live in high rateable value homes. A combination of both would still have the regressive affect because it takes no account the consumer's ability to pay.

"None of the three options in the consultation places any onus on the Water Services to reduce the level of water wastage. Individuals are instead being penalised for under investment in the water system and poor performance.

"Across the political spectrum, throughout the trade union movement and right across the six counties there is widespread opposition to the imposition of water charges.

"At council level, in representations to the varies direct rule ministers and in support of campaigns organised by the Campaign Against Water Taxation and the Trade Unions Sinn Féin will continue to oppose the introduction of water charges." ENDS

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