Sinn Féin spokesperson on the environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD, has said that the government’s plans to install water meters will become “another political disaster”.
Responding to reports that one third of households are unable to be installed with water meters, Deputy Stanley said: “This has sunk the argument that water metering and water charges is about conservation. It has nothing to with conservation and everything to do with charging people for water they already pay for through their taxes.
“The government has been spinning yarns about water charges. They are saying metering leads to less consumption and that we are the only citizens in the OECD who do not pay water charges. Of course neither is true. Water consumption in England is higher than in Dublin. This is despite England having had water meters for 25 years. Water charges in the north of Ireland have been successfully resisted by Sinn Féin despite demands from Westminster to impose them. Minister Hogan must be challenged on these myths.
“Sinn Féin fully understands the need to conserve water. In our submission to the Dáil’s environment committee we outlined steps that would achieve water conservation. The introduction of dual flushing would reduce consumption by 20 litres a day per household, while upgrading our aging water system would reduce leaks from 40% to 20%.
“The government must withdraw these flawed plans to impose water meters and water charges before another political disaster unfolds. People will not tolerate water charges. Just like septic tank charges and household charges they will be resisted by the public,” said Deputy Stanley.