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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Water Charges in Northern Ireland

Tulip was onto me last week moaning about receiving a bill for water rates in the mail. He's right to moan. These charges are inequitable, unfair, and a form of double taxation.

The people he should blame are the local politicians who, through their inability to sustain the local Assembly, have permitted the direct rule Ministers to levy this unfair double-taxation charge on the people of Northern Ireland.

Now, with an election coming up, and given that this wheeze was foisted on Northern Ireland by the direct rule wonks of New Labour, you would think that the local parties would be falling over themselves to declare themselves against this levy, which will cost the average household an additional £314 per YEAR.

Strangely, they're not. Sinn Fein have confirmed to me that they have no expressed position on the issue, and the SDLP, whose policy document is available here somewhere, seem negative but non-committal.

The DUP, who in the past claimed to oppose water charges, actually proposed them in their election documentation in 2005. At least one UUP councillor is opposing them, but again there does not appear to be an official party policy one way or the other.

At least there is a grass roots campaign urging people not to pay.

Is it too much to ask that the parties, in advance of the election, come out and tell us whether they oppose these charges or not, and whether they would undo them in the event of coming to power at Stormont, as is their right?

The people deserve to know.


Tulip said...

I concur with your last blog. For some reason they are putting the onus on the very people that can not afford to pay this crazy water tax! (Next Air Tax) Welfare patrons can hardly afford to pay any bills as they are supposedly on the line off poverty according to Government departments findings, and now they want more blood out off the already bled dry corpse?! That is OK, they seem to want a war, well lets let the truth out off the bag! Revelations to follow, when no house is secured and encryption is enacted.....beep....the last surviving victim off the conspiracy.

JC Skinner said...

This is a further example of the right wing (in this case New Labour) seeking to privatise critical systems.
The only way to rectify it on this occasion is for people to engage in a mass refusal to pay.
Water is already paid for via rates. This is double taxation.
Furthermore, the rates increased, not fell, after water and sewerage were removed from its remit.
And large increases are planned for 2010 in order to line the pockets of the private fat cats who will purchase the system.
Clean water and sewerage is a right not a marketable commodity.

mellobiafra said...

Well I tell you what! I'll be having at least three baths a day!