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Plan to cut pressure for those not paying for water a "bullyboy tactic" - SF

Sinn Féin says the Government’s taking a cynical approach to water rates, and that proposals to reduce pressure amount to “bullyboy tactics”.

Image: Water tap with flowing water via Shutterstock

GOVERNMENT PLANS TO reduce water pressure for householders who fail to pay the new water charges are being described by Sinn Féin as “another attack on struggling families”.

The measure will form part of the Water Services (No 2) Bill, which is due to be published in the coming months – although it’s understood it will only be considered as a last resort, once a customer has refused all other options to pay.

Sinn Féin environment spokesman Brian Stanley said the plan was unacceptable and would have the poor “reduced to a trickle of water”. He added:

We also understand that this Bill will transfer all water service assets from local authorities to Irish Water at no cost to Irish Water. This is despite the public having paid for these assets in their taxes.

This asset stripping is setting the scene for the full privatisation of water.

Water charges are set to come into effect in October of next year, with the first bills issued in January 2015.  Stanley has described the timing as a “cynical move”, designed to give the coalition parties a clear run at next year’s local elections.

Read: New website monitors ‘real time’ water levels

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