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Excessive use charge is backdoor introduction of water charges - Munster

19 July, 2019 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has criticised the decision of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities to introduce a charging regime for domestic water users for so-called excessive use, calling it “the introduction of water charges through the back door”.

Deputy Munster said:

“This is the introduction of water charges through the back door.

“It is a cosy deal made by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in 2017 to introduce water charges by stealth.

“Sinn Féin is in favour of measures that will reduce water wastage – these charges will not do that that.

“The proposed water allowance will be 146 litres a day. The average person uses 133 litres of water a day.

“People will be liable for bills of up to €500 under this proposal.

“The government is ignoring the real problem here – which is that 43% of treated water is leaking from our pipes.

“There is no credible evidence that people wilfully waste water. People don’t want to be wasteful.

“Either way, this charge won’t help people to conserve water. The fact of the matter is that most people cannot afford to find and fix leaks. The state and Irish Water should be doing that – not punishing those who can’t.

 “The government and Irish Water should be working to detect and fix those leaks before they go charging average householders water charges for excessive use that it beyond their control.

“This government always charges ordinary people as a way of shirking their responsibilities. We’re seeing the same lazy, regressive approach with the carbon tax.

“There is nothing stopping the government from reducing how many litres of water a day constitute ‘excessive use’ in the future. I fear that this is the government, in their usual underhand way, sneakily introducing domestic water charges, despite the loud and clear message given to them by the people during the water protests several years ago.

“Fine Gael and Labour did their best to force water charges onto the people, and they failed. Now Fianna Fáil are joining in to sell out the people in a backroom deal with Fine Gael to pave the way for the reintroduction of water charges by a future government.”

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