“There are other forces at work here. They may not be political forces – I don’t know where they’re coming from, but they’re there and they’re active and they have influence.” – Remark made by Thurles born Fergus O’Dowd Fine Gael TD, – formerly the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Govt, with responsibility for the NewEra Project.
Tipperary TD and Minister Alan Kelly is about to give away the exemption Ireland holds from directly charging for domestic water under EU Law. Unless he desists and renews Ireland’s water exemption by Jan 1st 2015, it will lapse. This ‘give away’ will make it more difficult for future governments to abolish direct charges for domestic water.
Mr Seamus Healy TD, in a recent Parliamentary Question, has called on Minister Kelly to immediately renew this exemption, so that the power to charge or not to charge for domestic water will remain with the Irish people and Dáil Éireann, into the future.
A copy of Seamus Healy’s request in a Parliamentary Question to Minister Kelly is carried here below.
Mr Healy stated; “Former MEP, Kathy Sinnott explained in a recent opinion piece in the Irish Times (Nov 21, 2014): “In 2000, the Irish government brokered this exemption and the inclusion of article 9.4 which formally and legally absolves Ireland and only Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.” As an MEP I brought this to the public’s attention in 2008 when the last government was introducing water charges for schools. On April 17th of that year minister John Gormley stated in the Dáil that “The only exemption available to Ireland, and availed of, is contained in article 9.4 and relates to dwelling houses using water for ordinary household purposes.”
This government has no mandate to give away our exemption from domestic water charges. The Labour Party promised in the last election that it would prevent Fine Gael from introducing domestic water charges. Now a Labour Minister is not only introducing the charges, but is giving away the power of our parliament to abolish them in future. Irish democracy is being undermined by Minister Kelly and his government,” he stated.
“I call on all Oireachtas members from Co Tipperary including Senator Landy (Lab) and Minister Tom Hayes to stop this national betrayal now,” said Mr Healy!
Question for Written Answer by Seamus Healy TD
To ask the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD,
“If he will confirm that there is, at present in 2014, no requirement for charges to be imposed on domestic dwellings for the use of water from public mains for domestic purposes under the EU Water Framework Directive and that article 9.4 formally and legally absolves Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.”
Also “If he will ensure on behalf of the Irish Government that this exemption is renewed before Jan 1,2015 so that Irish governments will retain the power to charge or not to charge for the use of water for domestic purposes into the future and if he will make a statement on the matter?”
Signed: Seamus Healy TD – 087-2802199.
For those of you who feel strongly about this issue; you should email (Copy & Paste) this “Parliamentary Question” directly to Mr Kelly (email@example.com ), however, from my own experience dealing with his Tipperary office, do not expect to receive a reply, as Mr Kelly and his staff are shy and highly unlikely to respond.