Thursday, 23 October 2014

Séamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

This water tax is the ultimate hypocrisy. During the course of the last general election, the Labour Party opposed water charges. In the final days of that election campaign, the Labour Party produced the infamous Tesco advertisement which I have in my hand and which reads, “Look what Fine Gael have in store for you. Fine Gael – every little hurts”. The advertisement includes a statement that Fine Gael wants to tax water at €238 per annum. This is utter hypocrisy.

The water tax is now being introduced by a Labour Party Minister. The Government has no mandate for this tax. The Minister of State’s party stood in the general election in opposition to the tax and now it wants to introduce it, with no mandate whatever. These are hated charges and it is effectively robbery from people who cannot pay. Families have had enough and this is the straw that will break the camel’s back. Irish Water is an affront to hard-pressed families who cannot put food on the table. The start-up costs amount to €180 million, with €80 million paid to consultants and huge bonuses for senior Irish Water management even if they do not meet their targets. If they need to improve they will still be given a bonus.

The Minister stated in his contribution that a water meter is being installed every 30 seconds. He is completely out of touch with reality because I can tell him that in Clonmel it has taken Irish Water contractors four days to do what they should have done in a day. I compliment and thank the residents for turning out to oppose the installation of these meters. I call on residents in other estates in Clonmel, Tipperary and throughout the country, to oppose the installation of these water meters.

Gardaí are being used and abused by Irish Water and the contractors and they do not like it because they believe they are being undermined. This should be stopped immediately.

Link to debate:

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