Election in brief: Losing 40% of water through leaks is disgraceful, says Independent Guerin
The imposition of water charges shows how badly the Government has misread the tolerance of the long suffering electorate, the Independent Dublin local election candidate Jimmy Guerin said yesterday.
"They can't have it both ways – blaming the Troika for water charges but claiming we have regained our economic sovereignty." he said. "There is an alternative. Local authorities have been starved of funds to deal with the disgraceful loss of 40 per cent of our treated drinking water through leaks. Local authorities should have been allowed to update and repair the network with the additional cost funded through the Local Property Tax.
"How much of this money will be used to fund a massive new quango – Irish Water – with an expensive layer of management to deliver water that, in some cases, is not fit for human consumption?
"Why should people pay for something that is not fit for purpose and which the taxpayers have already paid for."
Meanwhile, Fianna Fail Euro election candidate Mary Fitzpatrick said that over the past few weeks while canvassing, she had witnessed "a loss of human dignity from people across the spectrum, from young to very old, who are suffering in our society".
"People do not know where they will get the money to make ends meet. The government strategy of introducing stealth taxes and budget cuts, without taking any account of peoples ability to pay, hitting the most vulnerable in our society is a short-term, penny-pinching exercise that will ultimately prove too costly. It is a short-sighted strategy that is throwing the most vulnerable in our society to the wolves. Older people that have worked all of their lives and paid their own way are now being robbed of their modest life savings and are terrified of losing their medical cards and other supports."
She added that she met one lady in Dublin's Knocklyon, who said she was "just waiting to receive a pill in the post from the Government to finish her off".
TAX CUTS AND TACKLING IRELAND'S HIGH DEBT KEY TO DRIVING THROUGH RECOVERY
Tax cuts and tackling Ireland's high levels of indebtedness may be needed to sustain and spread the recovery to the consumer sector. Those are among the messages in a new book on the economy published last week. Entitled Ireland and Germany Partners in European Recovery, the book was launched in Dublin on Tuesday by Finance Minister Michael Noonan and includes contributions from the Taoiseach, Tanaiste, Minister of State Brian Hayes, and leading figures in economics and finance such as Deputy Central Bank Governor Stefan Gerlach and NTMA CEO John Corrigan.
The book praises Ireland's recovery but warns that weak business lending, high debts and taxes and a lack of cost competitiveness could hold back a full recovery. It also stresses how sacrifices made by the Irish people helped save the euro. "Ireland has secured its own turnaround with European help. In doing so, it has helped secure Europe and the euro's future," book co-editor and CEO of the Irish German chamber Ralf Lissek said.
"This is the first book about the recovery. But that recovery is not yet complete," co-editor and co-author Marc Coleman – who is a Sunday Independent columnist and former ECB economist – said at the launch. "In my purely personal view, help for Ireland from the Single Resolution Mechanism would involve much less money than say quantitative easing and much more certainty in terms of outcome – it would quickly bring our debt to GDP ratio safely below 120 per cent – consistency with EU treaties."
'Ireland and Germany, Partners in European Recovery' is published by Oak Tree press.