Thursday, 16 July 2009

Press Release - “Labour will lead the charge against water charges”: Cllr Looney

Cllr Dermot Looney, a Labour Party representative on South Dublin County Council, has said that the Labour Party will lead a campaign against the introduction of domestic water charges at all levels. Cllr Looney was speaking on foot of the "An Bord Snip Nua" report commissioned by the government which advocates a water tax. This commitment has been previously indicated by Minister John Gormley who stated that the re-introduction of water charges was ‘inevitable’ in a speech to the Academy of Engineering Institute on Tuesday, April 28th.

“I oppose the reintroduction of water charges,” Looney said. "So does the Labour Party."

“Resource struggles for water, particularly in the context of climate change, are hitting headlines across the world. But this latest proposal highlights the difference between Labour’s philosophy and that of this conservative government; they look at water as a commodity to be rationed, while Labour views it within the rights framework. We believe that everybody has the right to free, clean and safe water provided, not through private companies, but accountable public utilities. Water should be paid for through general taxation, not in the form of a regressive stealth tax.”

“After the recent election, I know that working people are very concerned with the possibility of another stealth tax. As well as Labour, others on the left are on record as opposing the water tax. Now it’s up to all other councillors on South Dublin County Council – particularly those in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael - to come clean and state, as a matter of public record, whether they will vote with us to oppose water charges.”