Imelda Munster – Honour Your Commitments on Irish Water

Imelda Munster at deskSpeaking yesterday in the Dáil Louth’s Imelda Munster TD had a clear message for the Government on the issue of Irish Water and their charges.

“The Government must now accept that they failed miserably to win the support of the people for their water tax, their quango that is Irish Water. The people had their day and their say on the 26th February.

“You see, despite what the government had been saying Water Charges WERE the single biggest issue that mobilised , rallied and ignited the spirit of protest and determination to fight back in the Irish people that had not been seen for decades. This was because the unfairness of the government’s austerity policies was obvious to everyone except the government. People recognised from  the start that Irish Water was a toxic entity.”

Continuing, the TD for Louth pointed out to the government that “the people knew that they were already paying for water through general taxation. They were also aware that they were paying PRSI, PAYE, Universal Social Charges, Motor Tax, LPT, Toll Charges, Bin Charges, A&E charges, and Emergency Service Charges. They were also aware that you had cut these services to the bone.”

Imelda Munster TD accused the government of heaping yet another tax “on to the working man and woman and those who could least afford to pay by a government hell bent on bulldozing this through regardless.”

“But how wrong you were!
“You did not break the back of the hundreds of thousands who mobilised on to the streets in every city, town and village across this state.”

And in a very clear message, Deputy Munster said “Any attempt to fudge addressing this issue by either short term suspension or by setting up a commission whereby a government and those propping them up will have a majority to veto abolition will not be tolerated.

“A democracy represents the will of the people and 90 TDs who pledged to abolish water charges were elected to this chamber and will be expected to honour their commitment given to the people.

“So let me be clear, the motion signed by 39 TDs calling for the abolition of water charges, and Irish Water is not going to go away. So I say to the incoming government and those propping them up—

“Honour your commitments, honour the mandate you were given, respect the will of the people Abolish water charges, abolish Irish Water and nothing less will suffice”.

Adams Demands Resignation of Environment Minister

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD described the Irish Water controversy as “one debacle to many” and called for the resignation of Phil Hogan, the Minister for the Environment.

The Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD also called the Taoiseach’s responses to questions on the Irish Water scandal as “a joke”

Mr Adams accused Phil Hogan of showing contempt for the Dáil, its members and citizens by concealing his knowledge of the expenditure involved in the establishment of Irish Water, including that spent on consultants.

Gerry Adams said: “Yesterday John Tierney told the Oireachtas Environment Committee that Minister Hogan was aware in September 2012 of the allocation of €180 million of public money to establish the company. Yet, despite repeated questions on this issue from Sinn Fein’s Environment Spokesperson Brian Stanley TD and others, he refused to answer questions on Irish Water. He has shown contempt for the Dáil, its members and the citizens we represent.”

The Sinn Fein Leader said that yesterday’s submission to the Environment Committee by Irish Water CEO John Tierney confirmed that from March 2013 the Minister’s Department was receiving a detailed monthly breakdown of expenditure on Irish Water, including the amount of money being paid to consultants.

Mr. Adams pointed out that Brian Stanley TD had also submitted several Parliamentary Questions, including one in June 2013 asking for a breakdown of Irish Water expenditure, including wages and service contracts. Despite the fact that he had this information, the Minister refused to divulge it.

Mr Adams said: “Taoiseach, you promised a new way of doing politics – a ‘democratic revolution’. Instead you have compounded the worst excesses of your Fianna Fail predecessors.

“I protested here at the Water Services Bill being rushed through the Dail. Brian Stanley has been asking questions on this issue for one-and-a-half years. On the last sitting day of 2013, over 30 TDs left this chamber in protest against the ramming through of the Water Services Bill. This government has obstructed the Dáil by concealing its knowledge on the expenditure involved in the establishment of Irish Water.”

He asked the Taoiseach if he agreed that the Minister had stood over one too many debacles and whether he would now ask for his resignation.

Gerry Adams said that money being handed to consultants was being taken from vulnerable citizens: “You are giving €86 million to consultants while slashing in the region of three million euro from the housing adaptation grant scheme for elderly and disabled citizens. That is why citizens are angry”

Saying that Sinn Féin opposed water charges and water privatization he pointed to the fact that the Local Government Audit Service report on spending by Dublin City Council for 2011, “raised serious questions about the spending of almost €100 million of public money on the Poolbeg Incinerator project under John Tierney’s watch”.

Water Charges this year is the Biggest Rip Off Yet! – Says Cllr. Imelda Munster

Imelda2Sinn Féin Cllr Imelda Munster has called the setting up of Irish Water and the introduction of water tax as one of the biggest rip-offs we have ever seen. All of the infrastructure owned by our local councils, a priceless asset which belongs to the people of this county which taxpayers paid for over the years will now be transferred over to this new quango called Irish Water who will then put meters outside people’s homes and charge them for the privilege of using this infrastructure.
Commenting Cllr Munster said “There is no doubt that it will then be privatised down the line and people will face increased bills for water year on year, while this new private company makes millions in profit. To add insult to injury the money taxpayers paid for the Local Property Tax which we were told was to provide local services like street lighting, libraries, parks and playgrounds etc. is now being used by Junior Minister Fergus O Dowd to set up Irish Water. This will mean people will pay three times for their water. Firstly in general taxation, then through the public funds being invested in Irish Water and thirdly through water meter charges. From October this year people will be billed for their water receiving their first water bills in January in a deliberate attempt by the government to postpone posting the bills through already hard pressed taxpayers doors until after the local elections to try and save the skins of local FG / Labour government councillors”.
Cllr Munster concluded that the biggest insult of all is that from January 1st if we have a problem with our water, pipes, leaks or pressure we will now have to ring a  “Call Centre in Cork” to report any problems.