2 April 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Cavan Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said he will not pay the new water charges.

The Sinn Fein spokesperson on Health told the Dáil Chamber on last Wednesday evening “he had not registered and will not pay twice for water”.

Deputy Ó Caoláin also urged people and leaders in particular “to take a stand on this most fundamental issue”.
In the course of his contribution, he said: “Anyone looking at this State from the outside must be incredulous that the Government is pushing ahead with its intrinsically unfair and deeply flawed introduction of water charges despite the mobilisation of large swathes of the country in opposition. The Government seems unable to comprehend that these charges are unfair and that many ordinary citizens cannot pay them and certainly cannot pay for them twice.

Austerity Tax
“This motion by Deputy Joe Higgins and others recognises water charges for what they are, another austerity tax. The motion focuses on the fact that Uisce Éireann is just a first step in the privatisation of one of the basic necessities of life and I, as a Dáil Deputy, believe that is the truth. In recent months we have witnessed the vilification of those who disagree with the Government’s privatisation agenda and the jailing of water protestors. We have also heard the Government’s threats to deduct water bills directly from wages and welfare payments, although I ask whether this would be either legal or feasible.

“The Minister, Deputy Alan Kelly, is anxious to sell the idea that there are those who will not and those who cannot pay. Minister, the overwhelming number of people who have not registered, whatever their previous economic circumstances, simply cannot pay. There can be no distinction based on assumptions. People are hurting today as never before and across all previous experiences, including the one-time self-employed with no entitlement to social protection.

“What have we got? We have Uisce Éireann which seems to think it can function in an entirely opaque manner. There were no minutes from any high-level meetings with the former Minister, Phil Hogan. What kind of organisation, never mind a so-called accountable Government Minister, has the audacity to carry out its business in such a way? I call on the Government to finally listen to the people, drop these unfair charges and let us provide water and conserve it in a properly planned and progressively funded manner.

Not registered/Won’t Pay
“Having played my part in opposing the last water charge and holding then to a no-pay position, having watched and supported my mother, who was one of those targeted for prosecution for a non-payment stance at that time, I can tell the House this evening for absolute clarity that I have not registered and I will not pay. It is my view that it is time for people and for leaders in particular to take a stand on this most fundamental issue in the clearest way possible” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.

Comments are closed.