Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin totally opposed to water charges

Published: 27 November, 2014

Sinn Féin vice-Chair of the assembly DRD Committee, sean Lynch MLA has reiterated the Party's total opposition to the introduction of water charges north and south.

Mr Lynch said;

"Sinn Féin fought hard and successfully to prevent water charges being introduced in the North and will continue to do so.

"We are totally opposed to water charges north and south.

"We recognise that water is a precious resource universally recognised as a basic human right and delivery should be paid for through general taxation. In the North - we don't have general taxation powers - therefore it is subsidised by the Executive through domestic rates.

"Sinn Féin has always taken a strong stance in opposition to domestic water charges and creeping privatisation North and south.

"In the North, as Minister for Regional Development Conor Murphy refused to introduce household water charges and ruled out the privatisation of these services (as was proposed by the British government in 2007). Households in the North (and indeed across Ireland) are already under considerable strain due to difficult economic circumstances and would understandably find it difficult to cope with an additional financial burden

"Unfortunately, in the South, the FG/Labour coalition - with disastrous results - is striving to bring in similar measures as were proposed by the British government for the North.

"The Irish government claim they want to introduce water metering to better conserve water supplies. If that is the intent then the logical way to approach the problem is by fixing the leaks, not by imposing another financial liability on overburdened families. It is estimated that 40% of the water supply processed and treated disappears into the ground through faulty mains infrastructure.

"Investing in repairing this problem instead of installing water meters will do more to conserve water levels - if that is the intention. But it's not - it's just another way of introducing further stealth taxes.

"The introduction of universal domestic water charges would mean that families already living in poverty would be further impoverished and Sinn Féin will oppose any such proposals.

"The shameful stance adopted by the Irish government is a measure of just how far removed it is from the realities of life for citizens under the austerity regimes of right wing governments across Europe. Sinn Féin will not be party to this agenda. ENDS