Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Ó Domhnaill has described as ‘cowardly’ the refusal by Fine Gael and Labour to facilitate a debate on septic tank charges in the Seanad today (Tuesday, 27 September 2011)
Senator Ó Domhnaill commented, “Fianna Fáil put forward an amendment to the Order of Business in the Seanad today, calling on Seanad Éireann to oppose upcoming septic tank charges. In what can only be seen as a cowardly move, Fine Gael and Labour Senators refused to even debate the motion and blocked it out-right before a discussion could take place.
“In my view this amounts to a blatant refusal by the Government Senators to even acknowledge what is a very real issue for more than 400,000 households nationwide. They cannot continue to ignore the fact that there is ongoing opposition to their Government’s moves to hit households directly with the cost of registering their septic tanks as well as the full cost of upgrade works. Following the initial inspection and registration charge, many households are facing bills of thousands of euro to upgrade their tanks. In addition to this, the Environment Minister Phil Hogan has created total confusion over the recurring nature of the registration charge.
“Fianna Fáil believe all of this warrants a full and open debate by all sides of the House, but clearly Fine Gael and Labour do not agree. They are simply content to penalise rural communities with what is fundamentally an unfair charge, and hope that they are not held to account for doing so.”