Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Water Charges will force low income families into poverty - O' Súilleabháin

A local campaigner against the family taxes and spokesperson for Sinn Féin has renewed his call for the government to invest in water infrastructure instead of water charges.  Fionntán O' Súilleabháin warned that the government’s proposed water charges bill will force low income families into poverty and will do little to increase water conservation.

Mr O' Súilleabháin said;

"The current draconian proposals for water charges will do little to increase water conservation in this state.  Installing water meters will cost money.  The government initially estimated that it would cost €500 million but a more likely final cost is €1 billion.  This money could be used to deal with directly with water waste instead."

"Up to 58% of treated water is being lost through leaks in our antiquated water supply system.  A flat rate tax, or the introduction of water meters, will not fix these leaking pipes.  Sinn Féin is calling for sequence investment in water infrastructure beginning with counties that lead the unaccounted for water tables.  County Wexford is near the top of this list, losing about 38% every year due to leaking pipes.”

"The average Irish adult uses 150 litres of water per day (or 100 litres if you choose to accept the Fine Gael figures).  Why then are 450 litres of water being produced per person per day in this nation?  It's costing the state €700 million a year to produce clean drinking water and nearly two thirds of this is being wasted due to our inefficient water supply network."

"The government needs to stop trying to sell their new tax as a water conservation policy when clearly it is not.  Sinn Féin is calling for the axing of the proposed water tax and a €500 million investment over four years aimed at fixing and upgrading our water pipe lines, focusing on reservoir loss and the distribution network.”


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