Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government, Barry Cowen TD, has called on Fine Gael to cut through the fudge on Irish Water bills for homes with contaminated water supplies.
Deputy Cowen commented: “Fianna Fáil has been working for months to secure an exemption from Irish Water bills for people who cannot drink their water. The latest spin from Government is that water bills will be broken into different elements and there may be some relief on some parts of the bill. This is dishonest and disingenuous. Residents may not be able to drink the water but they will be asked to pay to get rid of it. If Irish Water is not able to provide basic drinking water to families, they should not be issuing those people bills.
“There is a very basic principle of fairness at stake here. When Richard Bruton was justifying his party’s plans for setting up the Irish Water quango, he famously talked about people enjoying Ballygowan standard water and not having to pay for it. Now, when faced with the problem of people who cannot drink their water without being sick, that rationale is simply abandoned and a new justification for issuing bills is found.
“To Fianna Fáil it is a very simple and basic issue – people should not be issued with a bill from Irish Water until Irish Water is in a position to provide a proper service. The solution to this is similarly simple – all parties should support the Fianna Fáil Bill in Dáil Éireann this evening and tomorrow, which would make it illegal for Irish Water to charge families that are on boil water notices,” Deputy Cowen concluded.