Naomi Long said, “Everyone is well aware of how unfair and unaffordable the proposed tap tax in Northern Ireland will be, punishing particularly those who are elderly or live alone. However, it will also be completely ineffective in encouraging people to conserve water, the point of the original European Legislation which the Government is claiming as the
reason for introducing water charges in the first place.
“By basing the charge on the value of property and not liking it to the amount of water used, there is no financial incentive for people to save water and protect the environment. These proposals to introduce metering in areas of England suffering from water shortages, areas where people are already paying a separate water bill, are proof that anything other than a usage-linked charge will not deliver for the environment and will not meet the requirement of the European Directive.”
“This latest move in England proves that the Government’s current proposals for a tap tax in Northern Ireland have nothing to do with water conservation or the environment, but are nothing more than a revenue-raising exercise, designed to make water and sewerage services self-financing as part of a back-door privatisation programme.
“Alliance wants to see taxation and charging that is fair and affordable, and based on the “polluter pays principle” and we want to see the money raised efficiently spent. Anything else is not sustainable.”