Alliance slams plan for tap tax and water privatisation in Assembly

Alliance Party East Antrim MLA, Séan Neeson, has slammed tap tax legislation and water privatisation plans, stating that they will hit local people hard. He also stated that the government could not be trusted on these issues. He spoke in today’s Assembly plenary debate on water privatisation and charge.

Séan Neeson said: “Tap tax is blatantly unfair. It will hit older people and those on low incomes extremely hard. The cash raised by these unfair water charges will only be used to pave the way for water privatisation.

“Privatisation will in turn mean more charges, as companies aim to please their shareholders, not the public. Water is a vital resource and should remain within the public’s hands for the benefit of all.

“We know that EU directives must be met and infrastructure improvements must be made, but water charges are not the way to do this.

“We waste one billion every year on segregation. This money should have been spent on improving services for all, not on reinforcing the divisions in our society.

“A few years ago I wrote to John Spellar, former Junior Minister for Northern Ireland, about my concerns over water privatization. He stated that he did not want water privatisation through the back door, yet this is what the government are now forcing on us. Can we trust this government? No we cannot.

“I also want to express my disappointment at the Conservatives in the House of Lords for letting the people of Northern Ireland down so badly in last week’s tap tax vote.”


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