Fianna Fáil candidate in the Roscommon Local Electoral Area, Cllr. Orla Leyden has accused Irish Water of making a mockery of the promise a free water allowance by seeking a €100 standing charge from every household in Roscommon before they even use any water.
“Over the past two years the Government has made several promises to households in Roscommon that they would receive a free allowance of water to cover basic usage. It now looks like this will be added to the ever-growing list of broken promises from Fine Gael and Labour,” said Deputy Cowen.
“Far from receiving a free water allowance as promised, we are now told that Irish Water wants to force every single household in Roscommon to pay €100 before they even turn on their taps. They will then clock up water charges of several hundred euro on top of the Standing Charge.
“Minister Phil Hogan set up this quango, and he has ultimate control over its budget. He has spent the last few months dodging every single question about how much households in Roscommon will have to pay for their water. It’s becoming glaringly obvious that the Government is doing everything it can to avoid coming clean about this issue ahead of the local and European elections in a cynical attempt to salvage as many votes as possible.
“It’s time for Minister Hogan and his Fine Gael councillors in Roscommon to start putting people before politics, and provide some clarity to households about the charges that will kick in in less than 6 months’ time. All aspects of the charging structure must be published without further delay as promised a number of weeks ago.
“I am calling on the Government to honour its commitment to providing households in Roscommon with a free water allowance, instead of forcing them to pay a hefty charge before they even turn on their taps.” Furthermore in County Roscommon nobody should have to pay water charges of any description until the water supply is upgraded in its entirety and made fit for public consumption, Cllr. Leyden concluded.