[Sinn Fein]

6th January 2003

Greedy McCreevy's water charges an excuse to tax people twice

Speaking after it was reported that the Minister for Finance attempted to have water charges introduced state-wide in the budget Sinn Fein spokesperson on the Environment Arthur Morgan TD said:

``The reported attempts by Charlie McCreevy to impose water charges state-wide in the last budget provide yet another example of this government making ordinary people pay through the nose for the mess that he and his colleagues have made of the economy. It is clear that Mr McCreevy again sees the pay packets of the ordinary man and woman in the street as his own personal gravy train into which he can dip his increasingly scrooge like and greedy tentacles.

``We have already seen since the budget that people in general are less well off and in many cases actual incomes are in decline as a result of inflation, increases in VAT and the rise in costs of essential services like electricity, gas and health care.

``But this is not enough for greedy McCreevy. Not content with the fact that people already pay for services like water and refuse collections through their general taxation he is determined to make them pay twice. These water charges are nothing to do with improving water quality and sewage treatment - nor are they designed to protect resources. These are nothing more than unconvincing excuses to impose further taxation by stealth. Sinn Fein will continue to resist vigorously all attempts to introduce these unjust service charges.

``Charlie McCreevy will have to find other sources of revenue to balance his books. Perhaps he could start with his friends in the stud farm industry who pay little or no tax or those in big businesses whose Corporation tax was reduced from an already lowly 16% to a ridiculously low 12.5%.''

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