Murphy and Donaldson on the water charge

Conor Murphy talks about the need to drive down costs to get the fairest deal for the customers. And, Jeffrey Donaldson points out that there is a huge investment in savings to be found through efficiencies elsewhere in government. All good small government stuff. But has Sinn Fein traded in the old Socialist model, or just coasting in the DUP’s slipstream? The estimations for what people will pay by 09/10 are estimated at just over £300pa, marginally cheaper than England. Yet, for reasons that are not immediately apparent, over at the Sinn Fein website they are claiming that this is end of water charges.


  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    There is no tension between efficncy and socialism.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s totally bizarre. Their statement says that next year “people will be paying nothing for their water”.
    I wish I had access to that magical money that comes from nowhere to pay salaries etc.

  • Outsider

    Good to see that Donaldson can put the little matter of a murder to the back of his mind to conduct these worthless discussions.

  • kidso

    lets talk about water and everyday life -outsider- leave the killing until we know the facts. we may as well stop discussing local taxes or antisocial behaviour or banning plastic bags until we can be sure the IRA or the UDA or Resistance or MI5 didnt kill little Johnny in downtown Manhattan last week. The awful killing is a criminal matter not a political one.

  • Outsider

    The awful killing is a criminal matter not a political one.


    Sinn Fein and the ira have continually claimed that anyone killed by them in the past was because of political reasons.

  • kidso

    and that is of course true.. we have not yet established who killed the man. I live in a 3 bedroom house. alone … should i pay the same for water as a family of 5?

  • 0b101010

    Good to see politicians come naturally to the first of the two obvious preconditions for introducing a fair water charge. In fact _not_ double charging rate payers is so obvious, I’ve long wondered if it wasn’t just a cattle prod for direct rule to coax everyone towards Stormont.

    The second, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere before, is to charge residential or commercial consumers only for those services they actually consume — no more and no less. If this did this, by golly, it would actually be fairer than the current rate system.

    Personally, I’d go further and drive on with privatisation, if only they could establish firm competition from the get-go. The main reason that the water and sewerage system is so pathetic at the moment isn’t a lack of money, it’s because there’s really no reason for anyone involved to bother. Throwing more tax in the pot isn’t going to fix that.

  • Mick Fealty

    I suspect the rate bills will tell their own story in April. That will be an acid test of the authenticity of some of this debate, and possibly an incentive for SF to allow the DUP to get on with some of their long planned budget squeezing measures.

  • Dessertspoon

    “establish firm competition” – a lofty aspiration. How do you do that? As far as I can see it hasn’t worked elsewhere in the UK.

  • Rory

    “I live in a 3 bedroom house. alone … should i pay the same for water as a family of 5? ” Kidso.

    If the family of 5 also live in a 3 bedroom house then, “Yes”, of course you should. Further, perhaps because you are unburdened by any financial responsibility for bringing up three children you should actually pay more. If things get a bit tight you could always sell the 3 bedroomed house and move into a one-bedroom flat, saving expenses all round plus you would have a windfall from the sale of the house.

    Of course the new-found affluence thus occasioned might make you attractive to a feisty divorcee with three ready made kids so you would then all have to go and live in a three-bedroomed house again. Ain’t life tough?