SINN Féin has warned the Government that if it has met so much resistance with the €100 household charge stealth tax, what resistance will they face with a property tax and water charges of multiples of that amount coming down the line in 2013 and 2014?
Donegal North East, TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has said the government are “all over the place” on the issue of water charges.
He was responding to comments from the Taoiseach and other Ministers stating that homeowners would have to pay for the water meters installed at or near their homes as well as for their water supply from 2014.
A fee of €300 has been mentioned – with the possibility of homeowners paying that off in their bills.
People who don’t have their meters installed in time for the new charges will face estimates – regardless of how much water they use.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “When are this government going to get it? Half of the homeowners of this state have not paid the household charge in an extraordinary display of civil disobedience and in the face of all sorts of threats. And now they move onto the next round of stealth taxes to pay off European banking debt.
“People in Donegal must have spat out their morning coffee when they listened to our Minister for Finance telling us that water meters and charges are about “saving water”.
He said that every year, Donegal County Council reports that we have lost 40% of our water supply due to leaks in our creaking pipe infrastructure.
This government, said MacLochlainn, could deploy the resources from our National Pension Reserve Fund to replace those pipes if they really cared about “saving water” but instead “they choose to make our people pay once again”.
He went on: “Rather than having the humility to admit that their policy of multiple stealth taxes on homeowners and refusing to genuinely fight for a write down of our crippling and unjust banking debt has failed, they plough ahead regardless. If they have met so much resistance with the €100 household charge stealth tax, what resistance will they face with a property tax and water charges of multiples of that figure coming down the line in 2013 and 2014?”
He concluded: “There is a fairer way. The very wealthy in this state should pay their fair share in tax. The top earners in the public sector should face dramatic pay cuts and we have to have a write down of the banking debt. The government should not underestimate the extent of the growing public anger at their broken promises and unjust policies. They ignore the evidence at their peril”.