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12th September 2016 | Uncategorised

U-turn on water charges ‘a return to Fianna Fáil economics of the past’

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No economic, social or environmental argument for u-turn – only a political one

The Green Party today accused Fianna Fáil of a return to populist economics in pursuit of short term political gain, following their u-turn on water charges published over the weekend.

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said today: “Fianna Fáil’s u-turn on the issue of water charges is a return to populist economics, which will cost us all dearly in the end.  

“In 2009 the Green Party and Fianna Fáil agreed to implement the recommendation of the Commission on Taxation to introduce a charge which would promote conservation of scarce water supplies. That commitment was written into our revised Programme for Government, without any objection from any of the Fianna Fáil negotiators. There was common agreement on the need to take investment in environmental infrastructure seriously, while protecting those on low incomes.

“Now Fianna Fáil are shamelessly backtracking in an attempt to win back electoral support from Sinn Féin and the AAA/PBP. Michael Martin has presented no economic, social or environmental argument for the u-turn they have made. This is all about short term political gains trumping the long term national interest. It is a return to the worst Fianna Fáil economics of the past.

“Avoiding any form of charge on water will not help to address the water shortage facing Dublin, or clean up polluted water supplies and waste water systems in Mayo and around the country.   It will also see the investment we have already made in water meters, washed down the sink, which makes no economic sense whatsoever.

“The Green Party have made our own submission to the commission calling for a fair, efficient and environmentally responsible approach to water charges. What we see from Fianna Fail is a lack of care for the long term health of the nation or the need for a sustainable and progressive tax base.”

You can read the Green Party’s submission to the expert panel on water charges here: https://issuu.com/corkgreens/docs/expertwatercommission/14?e=0