Seamus Healy TD (Member of Oireachtas Committee on Water Services) calls for complete abolition of Domestic Water Charges, opposes any payment for domestic water and rejects any extra taxation to pay for water twice including a new dedicated water tax similar to Local Property Tax (LPT). Irish Water must be abolished. I have been nominated to the Oireachtas Committee On Water Services. I will be resisting these recommendations.
I will also be organising and participating in mass marches against the implementation of these recommendations
A majority, 90 of the 158 Teachtaí Dála (TD’s) elected in the last general election were elected on the basis of complete abolition of water charges and The Irish Water utility. The combination of Expert Commission-Oireachtas Committee-Dáil Vote in March was devised by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael after the General Election to negate the democratic vote of the people and bring back water charges.
The Commission essentially recommends that households pay for water twice through a combination of charges and taxes.
The Report states:
“5.2.17 The recommended Funding Model, if implemented, will place the main burden of financing the operational cost of providing domestic water services on the exchequer to be paid for through taxation. The Question of whether there should be a dedicated tax, a broadly based fiscal instrument, or an adjustment to existing taxes to fund this requirement would be a matter of Budgetary Policy and outside the scope of this report, but is worthy of further consideration.”-Commission Report Page 35
The underlying assumption in the above recommendation is that domestic water should be paid for by the citizens for a second time. This must be firmly rejected.
New “Dedicated Tax” suggests an LPT style arrangement which would convert a charges system to a tax liability which can be compulsorily deducted from income at source. This can be imposed on households with no taxable income (e.g. social welfare/low pay).
“A broadly based Fiscal Instrument” means that there would be a specific provision in law for some kind of water or house tax including water tax. This can be imposed on households with no taxable income (e.g. social welfare/low pay)
“Adjustment to Existing Taxes” means that there should be a general tax increase to pay a second time for water through an adjustment of rates/bands/ allowances/ tax credits.
The commission has also recommended that Irish Water be retained and that charges be imposed for extra usage.
Refuse charges were originally introduced at €5. Now hundreds of Euro are payable. The same will happen with water if there is any charge for water under any guise.
I have been nominated to the Oireachtas Committee On Water Services. I will be resisting these recommendations. I will also be organising and participating in mass marches against the implementation of these recommendations.
The money which is being paid and was being paid for water services through taxation for many years was not used for water services but was given to others and is being spent for other purposes. It is being used to fund part of the 7 Billion in interest being paid annually on money borrowed to bail out banks and billionaire bondholders. It is also being used partly to fund the 172 million reductions of personal taxes on the top 5% of income recipients on an average of 186,000Eu per year.
The 172 million tax reduction must be cancelled. A tax on the Financial Assets of the top 10% whose financial assets are now 35 billion above peak boom level could be used to fully fund water services.
Water charges and Irish water Must Be fully abolished.
Domestic water must not be commodified. We will not pay Twice
Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199
Discussing the Water Charges on Tipp FM this morning.
Another 100 Tipperary Homes to Be Repossessed?
Government owned banks (AIB, PTSB, and EBS) and other lenders have been seeking
repossession of approximately 100 Tipperary homes every month in the past year.
A similar number of family homes will be threatened with eviction before Christmas. In the New Year, this will be augmented by evictions of private tenants if the Courts Bill 2016, currently going through the Dáil, is passed.
Deputies Alan Kelly ( Labour) and Jackie Cahil (FF) voted for the new bill designed to
fast track evictions through the circuit court. Deputy Michael Lowry did not vote in the division on second stage of the Bill.
I call on them now to join me in voting against further stages of the Bill. I am also
seeking support for the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Oireachtas.
This would prevent the use of the Constitution by Banks to block a moratorium on
evictions while the housing crisis continues. The Oireachtas Commission on Housing
recommended such a moratorium on evictions.
Eviction of blameless families who are the victims of reckless banks and politicians is
savage, cruel and anti-human. It is even more devastating at Christmas time. Suicide rates have increased steeply since the recession.
How many of our neighbours will end up in the next best thing to a stable this Christmas?
Seamus Healy T.D.
Tel 087 2802199
I welcome the opportunity to speak to and support the motion. A Vision for Change, published in 2006, is a template for a community-based progressive and modern mental health system. The policy emphasises provision of a mental health system based on community services and supports provided by community-based multi-disciplinary teams with a significantly reduced need for inpatient services. Ten years later, there is a crisis in our mental health services arising from and compounded by the abject failure to fund, resource, staff and implement the A Vision for Change policy. The Government failed in budget 2017 to address the resource issues needed for mental health services. In July of this year, the Department of Health stated that €35.4 million per year over the next five years was needed to implement A Vision for Change. Despite that, only €15 million was provided; a shortfall, therefore, of €20 million.
The mental health services in my own constituency of Tipperary are a good example of the malaise in which the services are at both a local and national level. Despite the best efforts of staff, the service is dysfunctional. In 2010, then Fianna Fáil Minister of State, John Moloney, decided to close the county’s inpatient services at St. Michael’s unit in Clonmel. His successor, then Labour Party Minister of State, Kathleen Lynch, implemented that closure, despite the opposition of service users, carers, doctors, nursing staff and the public generally. South Tipperary inpatients were sent to Kilkenny and north Tipperary inpatients were sent to Ennis. That was done in 2012. The Minister of State sold the closure on the basis of a promise, quid pro quo, of a Rolls-Royce community-based service.
Three years later, we have the worst of all worlds. We have no inpatient service, community services are under-staffed, under-resourced and under-funded, and community-based teams are struggling to provide a safe service. They are deficient of staff across all categories of nursing, medical and paramedic staff. We have no 24-7 service. The new crisis house promised has not materialised. Patients are assessed in wholly unsuitable, busy and overcrowded accident and emergency departments with no privacy or confidentiality. The inpatient services in Kilkenny and Ennis are regularly overcrowded, there is difficulty in gaining admission and very often inappropriate early discharge. There is the proposed closure of the unit at Mount Sion in Tipperary town. The situation is wholly unacceptable. I call on the Minister of State to immediately implement A Vision for Change in Tipperary, including the provision of 24-7 services, the recruiting of additional nursing, medical and paramedic staff for our multi-disciplinary teams, the re-opening of the inpatient unit at St. Michael’s in Clonmel and a commitment to keep the Mount Sion unit open.
I acknowledge the excellent work being done by various voluntary organisations in the area of mental health locally.
I acknowledge organisations such as the consumer mental health panels, C-SAW suicide awareness group, the River Suir Suicide Patrol, Taxi Watch, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan support group and the Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue organisation among many others. I call on the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, as a matter of urgency, to meet with a deputation from County Tipperary about the mental health services in the county.
Kickham Street Car Park: At a recent meeting of Clonmel Borough District I requested that the council reinstate the road markings and signed at the entrance and exit to Kickham Street Car Park in the interest of public safety. The council agreed to provide the necessary works.
School Traffic Warden at Queen Street: At a recent meeting of Clonmel Borough District I requested that the council reinstate a school traffic warden at the pedestrian crossing at Queen Street Clonmel in the interest of the health and safety of the children attending the local primary schools. I was advised that the process of replacing the warden at this location has commenced. I will continue to follow up.
Footpath beside River suir from the Dry Bridge, Old Bridge to Denis Burke Park: At a recent meeting of Clonmel Borough District I requested that the council look at providing a footpath beside the River Suir from the Dry Bridge, Old Bridge to Denis Burke Park. The council advised that the matter had been examined and will involve further detailed analysis. They have a number of concerns including there being no buffer between the footpath and the end river edge therefore a railing would be required. They stated that a railing would likely be an impediment to flow at medium/high river levels and any such proposal would need the consent of the O.P.W. The council advised that the proposal is within the confines of the river channel at medium/high river levels and may have adverse impacts on river levels. They stated a hydrological assessment would be required. They also advised that there are gradient issues which required further analysis. I will continue to follow up on this matter and keep you updated.