25 April 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
The secretary of the Cork Green Party, Oliver Moran, has called on Fianna Fáil to cut an agreement with Fine Gael and avoid a general election. Fianna Fáil should join the Green Party in calling for a referendum on the ownership of Irish Water, he said.
Speaking today, Mr Moran said:
“From last week, there’s agreement among all parties that water should be free for most people. If there’s an election now, it will be over whether or not it should be free even for those who waste it. That’s a pathetic reason for an election.”
“A second general election is predicted to cost €40 million. That’s money that would be better spent investing in housing and healthcare. The average cost of building a social housing unit is €185,000. €40 million would buy 216 social housing units.”
“Only last week, €12 million was re-allocated from funds that were supposedly ring-fenced for mental health. Not having an election now would save over 3 years of cuts like these.”
The Green Party is calling for a referendum to guarantee the public ownership of water services and the right to water.
“Rather than fighting the corner of polluters, Fianna Fáil would be better off joining us in the call for a referendum on Irish Water and the right to water,” Moran said.
Green Pary Leadership comments
Speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, encouraged Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to reach a sensible solution on water:
“Some of the changes being talked about now will actually increase fairness. Rather than having this €100 bribe that was given to people and calling it a ‘conservation grant’, the move instead towareds a system where those on lowest incomes, those who cannot pay, don’t have to pay is a fairer way.”
“But it’s not fair for us to completely abolish any charges and to keep on going with the current system where, according to Irish Water, the top 1% of households are using up to 22% of the water. Or where the top 7% are using 6 times the national average. That’s not fair for everyone to be paying for those who are really wasteful.”