Residents of the Hazelwood estate in Bridgetown had no option left but to physically resist the installation of water meters outside their homes last week according to a local Sinn Féin election candidate. Mick Roche said that while his party were absolutely opposed to water charges, the idea of taxing what he called the undrinkable water in Hazelwood had an added insult to injury.
"I fully support the action taken by residents in Hazelwood last week," Mr Roche said, "Its an unforgivable indictment of this present government that law abiding residents were forced to physically prevent the installation of water meters outside their homes. People have to realise that these residents have spent hundreds of euro on water filtering systems and bottled water because the public supply is so bad in this area and now they are being told that they are to be taxed for it. What choice was left open to them?"
"Sinn Féin opposes the water tax. Currently we lose 60% of our water through leaks in our antiquated public water supply network. This tax, which was supposed to be about conservation, will do nothing to change that. Had the government spent the money its pumped into the set up of Irish Water on fixing these leaks, then the crews hired to install water meters would still have jobs but would be tackling the obvious failings in the system."
"If this is not about water conservation, and it is just another tax as Sinn Féin has said all along, then there are very real, common sense alternatives. We would support the introduction of a 1% wealth tax on those with assets in excess of €1 million, not including the family home or working farmland. We would support the introduction of a third rate of income tax for those earning over €100,000 per annum. We are not anti tax but we are opposed to unfair taxes like water charges."