AT IT’S INAUGURAL meeting the Sligo Municipal District Committee suspended standing orders to consider and adopt an emergency motion calling on the Government to repeal the water tax legislation.
The joint motion in the names of Cllr Declan Bree, Cllr Sean MacManus, Cllr Seamus O’Boyle and Cllr Thomas Healy was adopted with 7 of the 10 members voting in favour. Cllr Hubert Keaney and Cllr Sinead Maguire of Fine Gael voted against the motion while Cllr Marie Casserly abstained.
Proposing the motion Cllr Declan Bree said “It is clear from the results of the local elections that the vast majority of people have no confidence in Fine Gael and Labour and it is also abundantly clear that the great majority of people are opposed to the governments austerity measures and in particular the proposal to impose water charges on domestic dwellings.
“Water is currently processed and supplied to homes all over the country as is, that means, it is already paid for by taxpayers.
“The imposition of the proposed water tax is demanding that ordinary people pay on the double and it exposes as hollow the fraudulent promises about tax cuts that are being made by government in a desperate effort to buy support.
“Nothing can disguise the fact that the extra money raised from the water tax will be used to help clear the debts of the financial speculators and developers – that is, it will go straight into the back pockets of the bankers and bondholders.
“This exposes the lies and rhetoric of government Ministers that they are easing off on austerity measures.
“Attempts by Fine Gael and Labour to portray the new water tax as being about water conservation are total nonsense. The creation of the Irish Water company is about paving the way towards privatisation of our water services.
“If the water tax is successfully imposed, the next step will be to sell off the service, just as has happened with the bin collection service. The experience of the privatisation of Eircom whereby the extraction of profit became more important than the development of services and has ultimately resulted in the company going into examinership show the inevitable result of the policy of privatisation.
“The water charge like the household tax, the septic tank charge, the universal social charge, and the ongoing cuts in health and public services is in essence a form of collective punishment against the great majority of Irish people who are being continuingly forced by government to pay the private debts of speculators, developers and bankers. It is unfair, it is unjust and it is immoral.
I therefore propose the following motion: “Recognising the additional financial burden that the proposed new water charges will have on families and households which are struggling to cope with the governments austerity measures; and conscious of the fact that the majority of citizens rejected the candidates and policies of the government parties in the recent local elections; this meeting of the Sligo Municipal District condemns the governments proposal to impose water charges on domestic dwellings and calls on the Taoiseach and the Government to take immediate steps to repeal the legislation relating to the imposition of water charges on domestic dwellings.”
The motion was adopted with 7 of the 10 members of the Municipal District voting for it.