Alliance Youth (AY) today challenged Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy and his Executive colleagues to commit clearly to preventing the introduction of the tap tax. Conor Murphy’s announcement that an independent panel is to be set up to conduct the review of water charging specifically did not rule out the possibility of introducing the tax.
AY West Tyrone representative Michael Bower commented “One of the most disturbing aspects of the review is that its remit includes no specific reference to water conservation. The EU Directive that suggested that water charges should be introduced did so on the basis for the need to conserve water.
“It is necessary to conserve water in order to conserve the energy used to pump it into our homes and the energy we use to heat it. This is essential for the wellbeing of our environment. However this matter has been ignored by the Executive, which is obviously not as ‘green’ as the Minister claims.”
AY Secretary Stephen Martin added “The Executive has agreed to set up yet another task force to review policy this time on the vital topic of water rates. In the Assembly elections, voters gave our politicians the express mandate to stop the introduction of tap tax yet the Minister has left the door open to future charging being imposed.
“The people of Northern Ireland have a right to know whether or not the Executive plan to bring in such an unfair tax in the future. If so, all four Executive parties will be directly responsible for a broken promise.”