Can’t Pay Won’t Pay have called on rural homeowners to continue to boycott the Septic Tank registration scheme as the grant scheme offered by the government is inadequate and have branded Fianna Fail’s series of public meetings on the issue as an ‘exercise in opportunism’.
The campaign will hold it’s own public meeting next week in Gweedore to urge septic tank owners to maintain the boycott.
“It is a bit late in the day for Fianna Fail to come along as the saviours of rural Ireland.” said Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig.
“The campaign for a just outcome for septic tank owners has been ongoing for more than a year now. It has been the strength of the boycott which has forced the government to concede a grant scheme but now Fianna Fail are trying to claim credit for it. It is an exercise in opportunism from politicians who were nowhere to be seen before this.”
“Fianna Fail are as guilty as any other party for the sorry mess which has been created from the failure of every government since 1974 to deal with the EU directive on ground water pollution. Having been in office longer than anyone else, they in fact bear the most responsibility. It is as a direct result of their inaction that we are facing the prospect of huge bills for remedial works to our septic tanks.”
“The grant scheme announced in December was an insult to rural Ireland. A grant capped at € 4,000 will not cover the costs for many in Donegal, who will face far higher bills. Also the proposed grant will still leave homeowners to find 20% of the costs themselves.
“Most will still be hugely out of pocket or in many cases, simply unable to pay the costs. Even at this stage the government still have not published the standards which our septic tanks will have to meet. It is impossible for homeowners to have any idea how much it is going to cost them and how much benefit the grants will be. On these grounds we are rejecting the proposed grant scheme as inadequate.”
“The registration scheme has been in place for nearly a year now but only in the last month has the government seen fit to come forward with the offer of any assitance. Announcing the grant scheme so close to the February 1st deadline with the threat that those who don’t register will get no assistance, as a ‘take it or leave it’, is extremely cynical on the part of the government.”
“We are calling on all septic tank owners not to register and to support our campaign to win a fair deal. It is not the fault of individual homeowners if their septic tanks, built in good faith to the standards of the time, now fall foul of new regulations. The individual homeowner should not be expected to shoulder this burden .In a week that saw another €1.5 billion handed over to bondholders, it is particularly galling.”
“We have the government on the run. The last figures on septic tank registration showed that three quarters in Donegal, the highest in the country, had not registered. The only leverage we will have with the government is by maintaining a strong boycott.”
The Can’t Pay Won’t Pay public meeting takes place on Thursday 24th January in Dore Community Centre at 7.30 pm. Speakers will be Thomas Pringle TD and Cllr. John Campbell.