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Government to charge for water in 2014 – O'Clochartaigh

24 July, 2013

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh described the admission by Minister Hogan today that the government proposes to start charging for water from October 2014 as cynical and unfair.

Senator O’Clochartaigh said:

“Minister Hogan admitted today that the water charges will commence in October 2014. Families will receive the bills in early 2015.

“In a cynical move the government is holding off until after next year’s local elections before anyone receives a bill. Fine Gael and the Labour Party know that to issue the bills before May would certainly mean a loss of council seats. The current proposal to charge households for water was dreamt up by Fianna Fáil but brought to life by Fine Gael and Labour.

“Water charges are wrong. To charge people for the water they drink is unacceptable. The reality is struggling families will be hit with yet another bill. In Denmark, with a population similar to our own, water metering is in place and in 2007 the average cost was €715 per household.

“The government spins a myth that we do not pay for our water.  We pay for our water service in our taxes. Water charges will mean the public pay three times for their water.

“Firstly in their general taxes, secondly through this new charge and, finally, they will pay through the National Pension Reserve Fund, which is being used to fund the installation of water meters. Local Authority Professional Officers have given estimates of €1.2 billion to cover the cost of the installation. It is ordinary householders who will be footing the bill.

“Sinn Féin is committed to opposing the introduction of domestic water charges. We will continue to work with trade unions and residents in our opposition to this process.”

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