Press Release

SIPTU President says Government must step back on water row

Date Released: 21 October 2014

The Government needs to take a step back on the water controversy and find a way of providing the new investment required to deliver a proper supply of treated water in a way that meets with widespread acceptance, if not approval, while retaining it in public ownership and control, SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor has said.

Writing in Liberty, the SIPTU monthly newspaper today, O Connor said that Government missed an opportunity in the budget to address the key issue of water charges. He said that the proposed Water Tax Credit, a more comprehensive of which was first recommended by SIPTU and Congress several months ago, did not go far enough.

“The Government embraced the idea of the Water Tax Credit but did not go anything like far enough. Under our proposals people would still be paying the charge thus ensuring that the provision of a properly treated water supply would remain in public control and ownership.

The tax credit would be designed to fully offset the costs of every household’s normal need for treated water.

“By making it refundable, everyone would get the same benefit whether they were at work or dependant on welfare payments of one kind or another and the problem of people not earning enough to qualify for the full benefit would not have arisen.”

“We estimated that this could have been achieved at a cost of somewhat less than €350 million in a full year. The Government needs to take a step back on this and find a way of providing the new investment required to fund the provision of a proper supply of treated water in a way that meets with widespread acceptance, if not approval, while retaining it in public ownership and control,” he said.

Note: See attached copy of Liberty front and second page.


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