Water package an attempt to hoodwink the public – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for health Aengus Ó Snodaigh spoke in the Dáil today on a government motion concerning the water charges. Deputy Ó Snodaigh criticised the concessionary measures brought forward by the government as being regressive and certain to rise.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh stated:
“Today’s package assumes the public are fools. It is a transparent attempt to hoodwink the public into signing up to a water charge which will inevitably rise in the future. With the carrot of a €100 payment that will shrink or disappear altogether in time and the stick of penalties for those who fail to cough up these grossly unfair charges. But the public are not fools. The public do not trust this government and they will not swallow it’s spin.
“The new water charges package is simply regressive, the charges will certainly rise after the period of the freeze has expired on 1st January 2019 (if not before) and for many even at the level announced today they are not affordable.
“Of course water has to be paid for but it should be funded through progressive taxation. As a funding model for the delivery of water services you literally can’t get any more regressive than what this government are proposing. The principles of water conservation and ‘ability to pay’ are both entirely absent from the government’s proposals.
“The League of Credit Unions latest ‘What’s Left?’ survey shows that 483,000 people have nothing left at the end of the month after essential expenditures and bills are paid. Where does the government expect these families to magic €260 from? Does the government want them to risk homelessness by going into arrears on their mortgage or rent?
“There will be zero support to help these families when the first bills land at the beginning of April. The cynically titled water conservation grant will not come into being until September 2015 at the absolute earliest.
“What the government who claim to have listened but have selected not to hear is “Water charges are the last straw, we can take no more, we will take no more.
“You have turned your back on your mandate. You no longer have a mandate. Scrap these charges altogether or call a General Election.”