Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor and General Election Candidate John Brady has claimed that the low numbers of people who have paid their water charges proves that threats to attach the charge to people’s homes and earnings is clearly not working. He was responding to the release of figures which show that just 43% of those billed have paid.
Speaking after the figures were released by Irish Water and the Government Councillor Brady said “As the Government continue to push through the new Civil Debt (2015) Bill that would allow Irish Water to take court proceedings in order to make attachments and to dip into people’s wages and social welfare payments. It was clearly hoped that that would induce a large number of people to pay the bills they had received.”
“That threat has failed, and many people do not regard the legislative changes as sufficient to force them to comply. It is also the case that more and more people are of the belief that the next general election will lead to the defeat of the government, the abolition of water charges, and a restructuring of the water services to repair the damage done by Irish Water.”
Cllr Brady continued “"Fine Gael and the Labour Party must finally acknowledge that the Government’s efforts to bribe, coerce and intimidate families into complying with the Water Tax have failed, and that they now need to go back to the drawing board and to scrap this charge."
“The way the Government has introduced the Water Tax and is pushing through punitive legislation to take the money from people’s pockets contrasts starkly with how this Government has dealt with elites who have taken advantage of tax avoidance schemes. It is a vicious attack on people with low and middle incomes.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor concluded “The Government has failed to win the support of the people for the introduction of the water tax. And they’ve done this against a back drop of endless austerity where they and their cronies have stuck their hands in the pockets of working people. 57% of those due to pay have not paid and will not pay. More of them cannot pay, I’m proud to stand with the 57% who have not paid and I won’t pay. I’m also proud to be a member of the Right2Water group and I look forward to the next National mobilisation in Dublin on the 29th August.”