THE plan to pay for water through general taxation will now mean a double charge for people who have their own wells and for people on group water schemes, Independent Deputy Michael Collins told the Dáil last week.
Speaking during a debate on the new Irish Water Bill, the Goleen deputy said it is only fair that these people be able to avail of a tax-free allowance for the money that they have outlaid. ‘I understand that this would not fully compensate those on group schemes, but it would help in some small way to ensure they will not be hit by double taxation,’ he said. ‘This is a Bill that people will not be able to cope with. In West Cork we have seen the closure of our banks, our garda stations, and many other local services,’ he said. ‘In addition to this, the previous Government hit us with property tax and the USC, as well as the loss of Carer’s Allowance, debt grants, child benefit and many other payments. At the time I warned the Government that the introduction of water bills would be one step too far for the ordinary people of this island. As we know, however, the previous Government put people’s concerns into second place. It did not listen, thus leading to the biggest movement of people across the country shouting “stop”.’