ALLIANCE Spokesperson on Regional Development, Councillor Naomi Long MLA, has urged the Government to carefully consider alternative proposals to water reform from the General Consumer Council, published today.
Cllr Long said:
“While investment in water and sewarage services is absolutely crucial, the whole issue of water reform as handled by the Government has been a tissue of lies followed by a consultative farce with a pre-determined outcome.
“No-one is happy with the ‘tap tax’ the Government is proposing, as it is unfair and will lead to some of the most vulnerable being unable to afford a basic human necessity.
“The proposals from the GCC seem fairer and more sensible, and I would urge the Government to consider them seriously. Consumers should not be asked to pay twice for their water, through new charges and rates, nor should they be asked to compensate for the lack of investment in basic water services over the past 30 years.
“Metering, based on what a household actually uses, rather than the value of the property, is a fairer system. There also need to be built-in safeguards, to protect those vulnerable people whose water consumption is high but necessary.”