Cllr Gino Kenny the People before Profit candidate in the upcoming election has condemned the government’s recent announcement on water charges as ‘propaganda half truths’. Cllr Kenny who has been facilitating street meetings in the North Clondalkin area to the imminent installation of water meters in the locality said,
‘The government says there will be a yearly allowance of 30,000 litres. But the average household uses 147,825 litres a year. That amounts to just 20% free allowance.
‘Even if that household has one child under eighteen, you will still be paying for 60 percent of your water.
‘There is no way you could live on that ‘free allowance’. You will have to limit the number of times you flush your toilet and time yourself in the shower.
‘But the government has held back vital information on two crucial issues.
· They are not telling us the charge for each litre of water. The average person uses 150 litres of water per day – but we still don’t know how much the water tax on each litre is. Depending on your circumstances you could be paying far more than €240 a year.
· They are not saying how much the price will shoot up after 2016. The government says it is ‘subsidising’ the charge until then but afterwards there is no commitment. That will take them up to the General Election! But water in Britain – where there are no ‘subsidy’ costs – the average household €477 a year.
That is going to be the real charge after 2016.
‘Phil Hogan claims that investment in Irish Water must increase from €300 million a year to €600 million to guarantee high quality drinking water.
‘But according to a PWC report, the government used to spend an average of €550 million a year on water. But in last few years this has been cut drastically.
‘The government’s aim is to make water ‘self funding’ by 2017. In other words, the full cost will be borne by individual households.
‘This will mean there is only a small extra investment beyond the €550 million they used to put in. It is just that you are now paying for water on the double.
‘If the government was really serious about conservation, they would fix the leaking pipes which account for 40 percent of the loss of water.
‘They would then change the building regulations to insist that all new houses make provision of separating drinking water from grey water.
‘They would also set up a scheme to encourage people to move to rainwater harvesting – using rainwater for washing machines, dishwashers or toilets.
‘The government is doing none of this because it just wants to tax water rather than imposing tiny ‘Robin Hood’ tax on financial speculation as other EU countries have done.