Fianna Fáil Dublin South West By Election Candidate, Cllr. John Lahart, believes the government is terrifying people across all classes and none when it comes to water charges.
“Families with young children, young couples, families with dependent college-going children, pensioners who know exactly how much they need to live on every week, unemployed people, low wage earners, middle-income earners – they are all frightened and anxious about what water is going to cost them,” according to Cllr. Lahart.
“Two examples of constituents I have met in the last week – one an elderly widow who is literally terrified of not having enough to pay her water charges – and she has no additional source of income than her pension – and a father of three children all over eighteen; he is talking about water butts and pumps to offset the water bill he is terrified of receiving through the door.
“The government is committing the biggest sin in politics – it believes it can bring in these charges because it is simply out of touch with the lives of ordinary people. People are scared and anxious. The government appears indifferent and uncaring.
“The government has continually lied about the cost of water charges and property taxes. They told us property taxes would go to local services in 2013 and 2014 – they lied. All the property tax paid to date has gone to towards the set-up of Irish Water. They lied about the annual average cost per household of water – the government said it would be €240 per household – now Energy Regulator says it will cost €280. The government lied when they said each child would have an average annual allowance of 38,000 litres. The Regulator has reduced that to 21,000 litres.
“Since taking office more than three years ago this Government has reneged on a series of promises it made to the electorate. Shortly before the local elections it made commitments on water charges. The increase in charges and reduction in allowances announced last week is yet another broken promise that Enda Kenny and his Ministers can add to their ever increasing list”.