Fianna Fail has not undertaken to abolish or reduce charges
Sligo News File Online.
Councillor Eamon Scanlon has called for clarity on water billing, stating the government has failed to address the issue of farmers being separately invoiced by both Veolia, for the county council, and Irish Water.
Farmers, he says, are “completely confused” by the arrangement. However, a situation he could more aptly have focussed on is the cost of the supply, especially where a farm is too small to be a viable operation.
It is also noteworthy that there is nothing new in the farmer charging regime as it was introduced by a government of Eamon’s own party several years ago, following a letter of support for charges and even universal metering of supplies issued at around that time by the IFA. Fianna Fail also signed up the country to water charges – and, too, property tax on the family home – in the agreement with the Troika.
Raising the prevailing “mixed use” billing arrangement with the Environment Minister will not bring down the price, or the huge bills which annually farm families – and also, indeed, businesses struggling to survive – have to contend with; nor is it to the credit of Fianna Fail that they have given no undertaking that, if in government following the next election, they will move to abolish or even reduce the charge for domestic usage, or remove any cap on volume of usage for domestic purposes.