Donegal Sinn Féin TDs Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Pearse Doherty, TD have condemned the decision of the government to approve a new Household Charge of €100 as a pre-cursor to water charges and a property tax.
Speaking after the cabinet approved the charge Deputy Doherty said: “By choosing to impose sweeping flat rate taxes on everyone the government is abandoning its pre and post election promises to protect the most vulnerable and families on low incomes.
“The implication of this charge will be that there is less money to spend in the local economy. This will further undermine the retail industry especially and lead to even more job losses in that sector.”
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “According to media reports today, Engineers Ireland have estimated that water meters will cost up to three times the government’s estimate of €500 million. Engineers Ireland are also reported to concur with our party’s assessment that if water meters are introduced it will take many, many years to even recover the cost of their installation and even longer to generate real savings.
“Instead of spending this money on installing meters the government should increase investment in the distribution and fixing the existing pipe network. This has the potential to save much more water and would pay for itself quicker. The money required to do this should be raised through progressive central taxation.”