Michael Fitzmaurice TD has called on the Government to provide additional funding to Group Water Schemes and to increase grants for Septic Tank upgrades.
The call came following the news that the Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services had agreed on the final wording of their report.
Commenting on the issue Michael Fitzmaurice said “Now that the row over water charges has been settled, and Fianna Fail have finally decided what direction they are going to take after a number of u-turns, the Government must immediately announce substantially increased funding for Group Water Schemes and funding for the repair and upgrade of septic tanks”.
He went on to say “I am calling on the Government and the Minister to announce an increase in the subvention to Group Water Schemes by at least €100 per house. If the constitution says that every citizen should be treated equally then that is the minimum that people living in rural areas and who are paying for their water for many years should expect. Similarly, people in towns and cities will have a free sewage system under this deal and I want the Government to announce a scheme whereby the repair and upgrade of septic tanks are funded out of central funds as well” he added.
“The system as it stands with regard to septic tanks is grossly unfair and it only covers about 5% of what is required. The average cost of repair and upgrade for a septic tank is €12-15,000. If the Government and Fianna Fail are saying to the people that they will fund the water and sewage out of general taxation they can afford to fund septic tank repairs and upgrades in rural Ireland too” he added.
“Mr de Valera and those who drew up our constitution all those years ago stressed that everyone should be treated equally, and now is the time for the Fine Gael led Government, Barry Cowan and Fianna Fail, and other Government TD’s who support the Government, and who drew up this deal, to ensure that when it comes to water and sewage that everyone is treated fairly. I will be following this issue up as a matter of urgency this week and will expect an early announcement” he concluded.