Right2Water TDs announce joint motion calling for abolition of water charges and call on FF to honour their pre-election pledge
At a joint press conference this afternoon in Leinster House, AAA-PBP, Sinn Féin, Independents 4 Change, the Social Democrats aswell as three independents, announced details of a joint Dáil motion calling for the abolition of water charges and called on Fianna Fáil to honour their pre-election pledge to abolish water charges by supporting the motion signed by 39 TDs (see attached) affiliated to the Right2Water Campaign. The motion calls for the immediate abolition of water charges, the replacement of Irish Water with a national water board and a constitutional referendum ensuring the public ownership of water.
The press conference was addressed by Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit, Brian Stanley, Sinn Féin, Catherine Murphy, Social Democrats and Joan Collins, Independents 4 Change.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said, “The abolition of water charges is a simple question of democracy. A majority of TDs elected to the new Dáil gave clear election pledges to abolish water charges. It would be a betrayal of the democratic mandate for FF or anyone else to do anything other than vote now to abolish water charges.
The question of water charges should be taken out of discussions on government formation and simply be put to the Dáil to decide and all TDs should take seriously the mandate.”
Joan Collins TD says; “The huge opposition to Irish Water, water charges and the installation of water meters was two fold. A rejection of the Austerity programme of the last Government and a huge opposition to the setting up, into the future, of the privatisation of our water services. I am appealing to Fianna Fáil to support this private members motion, that has the support of 40 signatories, and follow through on their manifesto commitment “to abolish Irish Water and water charges”. 82 votes, and possibly more, for this motion would reflect the democratic mandate the people have given us and reflect the rejection by the people of this Fine Gael and Labour policy”
Catherine Murphy TD said; “During the Election campaign Irish Water came up as an issue on almost every door – it’s only 8 weeks since the election and that won’t have changed. The Social Democrats have said all along that
Irish Water is shorthand for the cumulative burdens that have been placed on households and left them feeling pauperised. Nothing short of abolition of Irish Water will be acceptable.”
Paul Murphy TD said, “The Anti-Austerity Alliance is happy to support this joint motion seeking an end to water charges and Irish Water. A clear majority voted against water charges in the general election. Now it seems as if a dodgy deal is being cooked up behind closed doors to prevent that mandate being fulfilled. Irish Water is suppressing the latest payment figures and FF and FG have colluded to prevent any discussion in the Dáil. People will have to take action themselves to force the change that was voted for, through a major mobilisation and, above all, through re-enforced mass non-payment”.
Laois TD Brian Stanley said: “Fianna Fáil made a clear commitment in their manifesto to ‘abolish Irish Water and end water charges’. There can be no equivocation from them now. They were elected on a platform of scrapping domestic charges and that is exactly what must now happen. Sinn Féin in government would scrap domestic water charges and have long supported the need for a constitutional referendum on the public ownership of water. It is not a commodity, it is a human right.”