Wicklow Sinn Féin are to hold a protest on Wednesday 1st October to coincide with the commencement of domestic water charges which will apply from 1st October 2014 and bills will start being issued in January 2015. The protest will take place outside the office of Wicklow Labour TD Ann Ferris in Bray at 1pm.
Speaking ahead of the protest Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady said "This Wednesday 1st October will see the commencement of the first billing period of the new water charges that are being introduced by Fine Gael and Labour. The first bills are due to land on people's door steps early January and it's expected that the average bill will be €280 per annum".
“Water is a basic human right. Charging twice for water is wrong and Sinn Féin will resist it in Wicklow and the rest of the 26 Counties as we did in the north. This is an issue which we will continue to be vocal on in local councils and in the Dáil".
He continued “Fine Gael and Labour don’t have a clue. They have no idea what it is like for the vast majority of families out there who are struggling to survive. Many are living on less than €10 a week after bills are paid, they cannot afford to pay hundreds of euro a year for water".
“Sinn Féin has made our position clear. We are opposed to water charges and we will reverse them in government. We have a strong track record on this issue. It was Sinn Féin Minister Conor Murphy who blocked domestic water charges in the North. There is no acceptable reason for water charges. The government has a choice. They can either continue to help those at the top or they can ease the burden on struggling families. Sinn Féin has produced detailed costed proposals to prove there is an alternative to water charges".
Councillor Brady concluded “Bills for domestic water use will be issued from January in respect of the last quarter of this year. Effectively, the government will start double-charging households for water from this Wednesday 1st October. I urge people to join in the protest on Wednesday and send a message to the government that the ordinary people of Ireland simply can't shoulder the burden anymore and that the water charges should be stopped immediately". Ends