The No Water Charges Wexford group have condemned the government’s plans to introduce water charges, stating that the introduction of a water tax has nothing to do with the conservation of water. Sinn Féin Councillor Anthony Kelly, who attended the meeting of the anti water charges group in Bridgetown last week, described attempts by the government to justify yet another tax on working families as “pathetic” and “deceptive”.
“The government’s plan to introduce water charges has nothing to do with water conservation. If it had then the government would be investing the money they are taking out the national pension reserve fund for water metres into upgrading our antiquated water distribution network. This could create real jobs that have a positive legacy on communities and workers alike. If this was about water conservation we would be witnessing a major employment drive to fix the leaks in our water pipe system instead of the introduction of another tax.”
“Government spokespeople on this issue have been deliberately deceptive when putting across their arguments for this new tax. They are deceptive when they say that the Irish people get free water now. This is untrue. The Irish people pay for their water through the existing taxes in place. They are deceptive when they say that a water tax would reduce water consumption here. The English consume more water per head than us and they have had a water tax for the past twenty five years. They are deceptive when they say everywhere else has water charges. Sinn Féin in government in the six counties has resisted the introduction of a water tax despite huge pressures from Westminster.”
“I commend groups like No Water Charges Wexford who have been working in their communities for the past year against the introduction of a water tax. They have been organising to combat the pathetic arguments that this government has been putting forward to justify this new tax. The majority of people are now seeing through the austerity program and won’t be fooled into believing lies about water metering being about conservation.”