Sinn Fein councillor Mike McKee has reiterated the position of Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD who said Sinn Féin in government will scrap water charges.
He added that the public already pay for water through general taxation and that it is deeply unfair to heap the charge onto the shoulders of ordinary people who have borne the cost of austerity.
The Shannon councillor was speaking after the launch of Sinn Fein’s vision for water services at which Ms. McDonald was accompanied by both Brian Stanley TD and Cllr. Cathal King who is the Sinn Fein candidate for the upcoming by election in Dublin South-West.
Mike McKee told us “Sinn Féin in government will reverse water charges. These charges will only cause further hardship for families already struggling to make ends meet“.
“Bills for domestic water use will be issued from January in respect of the last quarter of this year. Effectively, the government will start double-charging households for water from the start of next month. The average charge will be around €280. It beggars belief that this Government thinks that people can absorb yet another stealth tax for what is an essential service“.
“Water should be paid for through exchequer funding, non-domestic water charges and the Local Government Fund. Sinn Fein would stop the roll-out of metering and invest in our water infrastructure by redirecting €539m from the national pension reserve fund towards a capital investment programme. This would include fixing the massive leakage problem and interruption to supply across the state“.
“Water charges were proposed and agreed by Fianna Fáil and are now being implemented by Labour and Fine Gael. Sinn Féin blocked the introduction of water charges in the north. We will reverse the charges in government in the twenty-six counties” Mr. McKee concluded.