‘Attack on rural dwellers’

An Inishowen TD has hit out at the new proposed septic tanks charges, describing them as a further attack on rural dwellers.

Donegal North East TD Charlie McConalogue has come out strongly against the Government’s plans to introduction an annual charge on septic tanks.

The Fianna Fáil Deputy told the ‘Journal’ he has contacted the Minister for Environment Phil Hogan TD to seek clarification on his Government’s plans to introduce the septic tank charge for over 450,000 households and farms around the country.

“Those affected are likely to be hit with an extra bill of around €300 a year, on top of the Government’s new household charge coming into effect in January and water charges from 2013.

“All of this, in addition to a proposed new charge for the registration and inspection of septic tanks for rural homes and farm buildings, has caused anger and distress in rural communities. Quite frankly, many people are worried about how they will cope with these multiple taxes.

The Carndonagh man said he thinks the tax is being used by the Government as an easy way to make a “quick buck” from taxpayers.

“It seems to me that Minister Hogan is using the argument that some septic tanks may be defective as a cover for bringing in an estimated €300 charge to simply collect even more revenue from rural dwellers.

“Development charges are substantial for those people who have built their own homes, as has been a long standing tradition in rural Ireland. Surely those people can’t be charged over and over for what is effectively the same thing.

“I am not opposed to reasonable measures that would prevent any defective septic tanks from polluting water tables, but it is totally unacceptable for Minister Hogan to use this objective as cover for extracting an estimated annual charge of €300 from rural dwellers,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.