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"The Irish people gave us a mandate to bring in water charges" - Phil Hogan

The Environment Minister says that the government “fundamentally believes” that user-related charges are the right way of raising more tax.

Image: Gts via Shutterstock

USER-RELATED CHARGES such as the property tax and water charges are a “choice” that the Irish public made in the last general election, the Minister for the Environment has said.

Phil Hogan was speaking on Today with Seán O’Rourke this morning when he was asked about the anger surrounding the incoming charges, when he said that the government had been given the mandate to bring in the charge.

“The Irish people made a choice in the last election: did they want to pay more income tax, which the previous government loaded onto them because of the troika adjustment or did they want user charges as the vehicle by which you broaden the tax base?

“This government got a mandate to do that. It is part of the troika agreement. We would be a lot more popular if we had money to give to people, but we’re not in that position.”

Hogan says that there will be a free allowance for every family in the country, as well as dispensations for disabled or sick people and those on low incomes.

“We in the government fundamentally believe that reducing tax on work is ultimately right.”

Hogan added that the quality of water in Ireland was important to attracting business.

“There will be wars fought over water in the next 10 or 15 years.

“It is a finite resource and we shouldn’t be wasting it the way we are now. Businesses coming into this country ask “how are you fixed for water qualities and water quantities.

“You cannot have jobs without water.”

Read: Japan to spend €359mn to battle Fukushima radioactive water leak

Read: Property tax evaders ‘will not see a penny’ of their income tax refund

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