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Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says public services need to be paid for. Screengrab/RTÉ
Water Charges

'If we want sustainable public services like water, we need mechanisms to pay for it'

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said we can’t go back to the old ways of narrow taxation.

IF WE WANT sustainable public services like water, then we need to find mechanisms to pay for it, that was today’s message from the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Ó Ríordáin TD said the Government can’t go back to the “old ways” where there is narrow taxation, saying it was almost inevitable that the collapse would happen when we had that sort of taxation programme.

Sustainable taxation

“We have to have sustainable taxation to provide services,” he said. He said he wanted to look back in thirty years and say that the Government invested in water services when they had the opportunity to.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said that the huge numbers that took to the streets yesterday in Dublin to protest against the water charges did so as they are angry about the establishment of another quango like Irish Water.

“This is going to be a bigger quango than the HSE,” he claimed.

O’Ríordan said, ” you can’t have lower taxation and higher spending and expect it to last”.

He said he accepted that Ireland is in a “healthier position” than it was but also added that he appreciated that people were “still feeling the pinch”.

Hinting at what might be coming in Tuesday’s Budget, he said that despite the recovery and despite people getting back to work, households could use extra help, stating that Tuesday should have measures that alleviate pressures on those on social welfare as well as those on lower pay.

Poll: Did yesterday’s water charges protest have an effect on you?>

Read: Tens of thousands take to the streets of Dublin to protest against water charges>

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