Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Sinn Fein to scrap Irish Water with redundancies worked out case by case - Adams

Published 14/02/2016

Gerry Adams said Irish Water will go if Sinn Fein takes power
Gerry Adams said Irish Water will go if Sinn Fein takes power

Irish Water staff will either lose their jobs or be redeployed if Sinn Fein takes power, Gerry Adams has said.

The party president and Louth TD said the utility would be abolished based on whatever is cheapest for the taxpayer and pensions and redundancies would be worked out on an individual basis.

"The principle is very, very clear - scrap Irish Water, scrap water charges. It's a punitive, unnecessary tax," he said.

Pressed on Sinn Fein's plans to abolish the utility while contracts are in place with four companies, including water metering by the Denis O'Brien-owned Siteserv, Mr Adams said a government led by his party would act on the best legal advice.

"We are lawmakers, if we get a mandate we will change the law to serve the common interest," he said.

"Our objective is very, very clear and this is an absolute red line issue - this and the family home tax - we will scrap both of those."

Mr Adams also said there would be no way to refund people who have already paid Irish Water bills.

The party leader was interviewed on RTE Radio 1's This Week where he was also asked to detail other key manifesto pledges including introducing a living wage for low paid civil and public servants.

He said he did not know if this would have a knock-on effect for wage claims for people at higher levels.

Mr Adams also said he was committed to new laws which would force companies to recognise unions and negotiate with employees based on collective bargaining.

"We stand for the national interest in the common good. We stand by working people. We stand by those people who are disadvantaged and that means we may have to take on these people in the upper echelons," he said.

Mr Adams said his party's plans for a universal healthcare system, free at the point of entry, would take two terms in government to establish.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph