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Full Abolition of Water Charges is ‘only acceptable outcome’ – Ó Broin

28 November, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Responding to the latest round of leaks to RTÉ of the report of the expert commission on the future of water services, Sinn Féin spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said “the full abolition of water charges is the only acceptable outcome to Sinn Féin”.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“For the third time in less than a week, a media outlet has received advance notice of the contents of the report from the expert group on the future of water charges. Despite assurances from Minister Coveney that the report would go directly to the special Oireachtas Committee on Water, the report’s contents have been again leaked to RTÉ. This is deeply disappointing and further undermines the work of the Oireachtas Committee.

“Sinn Féin will make our view of the report when we have had the opportunity to read it in full. However, we have been very clear on this issue from the start. Only the full abolition of water charges is acceptable to Sinn Féin.

“If the details of the RTÉ report are correct, it confirms Sinn Féin’s view that there is no legal impediment to paying for water services from general taxation, a view backed up by independent legal opinion.

“However, people should be very weary of any proposal for a ‘reduced’ or ‘modest’ charge, as once introduced, it can be increased. Waivers can come and go, as we have seen with domestic waste collection. Once a charge is introduced, we know that, over time, it will increase; in the end, people will be left paying the €500 originally proposed by Fianna Fáil back in 2010.

“The only acceptable solution to the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil water debacle is to abolish domestic charges and to fund an ambitious multi-million annual capital programme to upgrade the crumbling water and sanitation system. This is what Sinn Féin campaigned for during the general election and this is what we will vote for in the Dáil.” 

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