South Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor, Matt Carthy, has reiterated his opposition to the proposed septic tank charges and urged Fine Gael TD’s to ensure the proposed legislation is shelved. Critisising Fianna Fáil for failing to resolve the issue during its time in government Cllr. Carthy said the proposals amounted to an unfair and unjust rural tax.
Cllr. Carthy said:
“Few issues have stimulated debate and passion as much as the government’s ill thought out Water Services Bill. In essence what it implements is a rural tax. Its consequences are a further attack on rural communities.
“We in Sinn Féin are fully aware that we need to protect our environment, we fully support the registering of septic tanks and the need to carry out remedial work. We fully understand the need to comply with the EU directive. But we do not support the punishing of rural households. We are proposing a common sense approach.
“Any inspection and agreed remedial work should be funded through an income related grant scheme. Funding should be sought from EU structural funds and matched with funding from the Department of Environment. This would in turn act as a stimulus to the current ailing economy and assist in job creation in many of these rural areas. These proposals were made to Fianna Fáil while they were in government but they did nothing – waiting instead until they were on the opposition benches before apparently becoming concerned for the plight of rural families.
“Sinn Féin is demanding that the government scrap the €50 registration fee, provide grant aid to those that may have to upgrade their system and withdraw their threat of criminalising rural communities. It is also vital that they don’t try to apply current standards to existing waste water systems. That is just simply unfeasible.
“These are our demands echoed by rural communities across the state and among the many people in co. Monaghan with whom I have spoken who are deeply concerned by the legislation.
“Rural Ireland has borne the brunt of the cuts agenda of this government and their Fianna Fáil predecessors. I can sense that people are now ready to fight back. This charge will be opposed in every parish in every county until this government get the message – scrap this charge.”