Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment Barry Cowen has accused the Government of playing political games over water charges at the expense of households across the country.
“This has descended into a complete farce. Fine Gael and Labour have spent months dodging questions about just how much people will be forced to pay for their water. They have gone as far as to claim that they’ve never even discussed the issue at Cabinet. Now we have to find out from media reports how many showers we can have, how many times we can use our washing machine and how many times we can brush our teeth before we start clocking up charges,” said Deputy Cowen.
“The Government is treating householders like idiots. Are the coalition parties really expecting people to believe that the Cabinet has never discussed the charging structure and that the Labour Party knew nothing about it? Are we expected to believe that with just 5 weeks to go until the local and European elections, the issue has never come up at the Cabinet table?
“What we have is two coalition parties obsessed with PR management and their own political preservation, with absolutely no regard for households and the service they will receive. Fine Gael and Labour have spent the past 18 months setting up a gold-plated super quango at huge expense to the taxpayer, while not one cent has been spent on fixing pipes and leaks and improving water quality. The entire focus has been on levying a new water tax on families that has no connection to ability to pay or the quality of the service.
“The Government needs to come clean about water charges once and for all. Instead of leaking selectively to the media, they need to communicate directly with households about the charges they will face in just six months’ time. I am again calling on the Government to publish its submission to the Commission for Energy Regulation and to commit to a date by which people will know exactly what they will have to pay for their water.”