People who are on Group Water Schemes are still being discriminated against, according to Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
Deputy Fitzmaurice has welcomed a Government decision to refund people who paid their water bills, but it’s a reminder, he says, that the many people in rural areas who are on Group Water Schemes “are being forgotten about once again.”
“It is right that the Government refunds the water charges to those who paid them but the reality is that the many people who are on Group Water Schemes in rural areas are not receiving an adequate subvention to cover the cost of the water that is supplied to their homes.
“In almost all cases, groups of people in rural areas got together to arrange their own water supply and their action have saved the Government hundreds of millions of euro over the years. In addition, people with their own septic tanks have seen costs of between €10,000 and €15,000 in recent years to upgrade their facilities in order to comply with legislation.”
Deputy Fitzmaurice says that over the next few weeks he is going to embark on an “intense campaign” to raise awareness of the plight of those on Group Water Schemes and “how they are being treated like second-class citizens.”
“I will be seeking an extra subvention of at least €100 per house for these people to bring them in line with how everyone else in the system is treated” the TD revealed.
Deputy Fitzmaurice said there are a lot of Independent TDs from rural areas and he is calling on them to stand up and be counted on this issue.
“We now have a situation where many people in rural areas on Group Water Schemes – who are paying for their own water supply – are getting up every day and going to work and find that their taxes are paying for water and sewerage services to big towns and cities. It is double taxation and is grossly unfair” he concluded.