Conservation grant ‘carrot to governments stick’ – Stanley
Speaking today, Sinn Féin TD and Environment Spokesperson Brian Stanley has described the water conservation grant as little more than a carrot compared to the stick of fears of cut off to supply, increase charges and other idle threats that this government has made since the introduction of water charges.
He also criticised the double registration for the water conservation grant, saying that the government is forcing households to jump through hoops to regain money from taxes they have already paid.
Deputy Stanley said:
“People are not going to be fooled by the governments bluster when it comes to trying to convince the people that signing up for water charges is in their best interest. This government has continually made idle threats as to what will happen if you don’t sign up for water charges, first to cut off your water and, most recently, to deny you the water conservation grant. Considering that we are now facing your fifth deadline for registration, it is clear this government is scrambling for a hold on the situation.”
“Now we learn that there are more hoops to jump through when it comes to receiving the grant, a separate registration process with the Department of Social Protection has now been put forth. No doubt this will add further cost to the already obscene amounts of money wasted on Irish Water and will also draw PPS numbers back into the debate. We must have clear guidelines as to the demarcation between the Department and Irish Water when it comes to processing the grant.”
“A grant that is little more than the government taking more tax money out of the system and calling it a reward for conservation. This is merely adding to the cost of Irish Water to the state and denying tax revenue to vital public services. It is this kind of financial mismanagement that is consigning sick patients to hospital trolleys and families in mortgage distress to the streets. ”
“Sinn Féin would abolish Irish Water and domestic water charges. We would not be taking tax revenue from the people with one hand and giving it back with the other while claiming this was some form of conservation initiative. This is nothing but a sweetener to allay protest. Charges are going to rise; that is certain. We cannot allow the government to pull the wool over our eyes on this issue.”