Sinn Fein in Co Donegal have become split on the payment of water charges with the party’s councillors and TDs now disagreeing on the issue.
Pearse Doherty TD has said he will pay the charge to save paying Irish Water further penalties and charges.
However, his party colleague, Cllr Gary Doherty, has now clearly stated that he will NOT pay the levy.
The Stranorlar-based county councillor said it was now up to each individual to make up their mind on the issue.
He said “I am taking this stand in protest and in solidarity with the ordinary working people of Ireland. We cannot afford to pay another unjust and unfair tax on an essential natural resource. Our citizens are already so encumbered by the property tax, USC, unemployment, cuts to benefits etc, that we simply cannot take any more. To ask families to pay perhaps €500 per annum for water is rubbing salt inthe wounds. The time has come to say ‘enough is enough’.
He continued “I am taking this stand in full knowledge that Irish Water will charge fees and penalties for non-payment. It is for that reason thatI cannot others to do the same. This must be a decision for each individual family to make, for the needs of their family. I will not lambast or criticise others who choose to pay, however for me, I believe this is the right decision.”
Cllr Doherty also pointed to Sinn Fèin’s alternative budget released last week saying there is alternative ways of getting Ireland out of the red.
“Sinn Fèin’s budget proposals proved that there is a different way. We will abolish Irish Water when in Government and end watr charges. There are more equitable ways of getting Ireland out of the red than taking the last euro from our families pockets to give to Irish Water.”