Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government must now move to defer Water Reform legislation

21 November, 2006

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the legal victory for the
consumer in the case taken by the Consumer Council that exposes the failure
of government to consult fully over its water reform legislation. Speaking
from Belfast High Court Mr McCartney also said that the legislation must now
be deferred.

Mr McCartney said:

"This legal judgement today exposes the sham consultation undertaken by
British direct rule ministers in the attempt to force through water charges
and advance the privatisation agenda.

"This is not just a victory for the Consumer Council it is a victory for
everyone who believes that British direct rule ministers have treated people
with absolute distain.

"The Programme for Government committee, including all of the parties who
are likely to be part of a future Executive, has now met and called for the
deferment of this legislation. Peter Hain now has no other reasonable option
except to step in and halt the water reform legislation.

"What the British government are proposing is an unfair form of double
taxation that people here just simply will not be able to afford. This is
not acceptable. The approach of British direct rule ministers to the issue
of water charges has been a disgrace. We need a full investigation into the
whole shoddy exercise and we need local politicians to take responsible
decisions on the way forward." ENDS

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