The East Antrim Representative stated: “The four parties which formed the last executive are guilty of misrepresenting the water charges issue. We have to provide a workable alternative to the government’s plans for water charges, not just ‘wish them away’!
“Mark Durkan in particular is guilty of misleading the public. Placing water charges in with the existing rates system is yet another a tax by property value. If the public thought 19% rates rises were bad enough, the SDLP proposals means, in effect, a rates rise of 50% – payable by single householders just like everyone else!
“Alliance’s proposals are clear. We will save £1 billion wasted on segregated public services and use the some of those savings to counter the cost to households and businesses of any charges for water. We will at the same time introduce a rates system based on income, and charges for services such as water will be based to some extent on consumption.
“The other parties’ plans amount to nothing but hot air. We are paying the cost of their failure last time they formed the Executive. Only Alliance has a workable alternative that not only counters the cost of paying for water, but also delivers a fairer system of raising revenue for essential public services.”