3 May 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Anti Austerity Alliance TD Mick Barry this morning called for all arrears owed by those who have boycotted Irish Water bills to be written off. He also called for those who have paid the bills to be refunded in full.
His comments clash sharply with the views of the Fianna Fail party and of its leader Micheal Martin who reiterated his call over the weekend for water charge boycotters to be pursued for arrears.
Deputy Barry said that claims made by Fine Gael politicians that nonpayers could have arrears deducted from wages by court-imposed attachment orders were false because arrears need to be 500 euro minimum before attachment orders can be even considered and water charges arrears are not at this level.
Calling for refunds for those who have paid the bills he claimed that many of those who had paid the charges were in a vulnerable position and that many of these people such as pensioners had paid under duress after receiving threatening phonecalls and texts from Irish Water.
He concluded: “People power forced the establishment parties to suspend the charges. The pressure must be kept on now to ensure that the arrears are written off and a refund scheme is put into place.”