A Sinn Féin county councillor has confirmed he will not be paying for water charges.
The stance by Stranorlar Electoral Area councillor Gary Doherty is at odds with senior party figures such as Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty who said last week they would be paying the charge, despite opposing it.
However, Cllr Doherty said he was taking ‘a stand in protest and solidarity with the ordinary people of Ireland’.
“We cannot afford to pay another unjust and unfair tax on an essential natural resource. Our citizens are already so encumbered by the property tax, USC, unemployment, cuts to benefits etc.that we simply cannot take any more,” Cllr Doherty said.
“To ask families to pay perhaps €500 per annum for water is rubbing salt inthe wounds. The time has come to say ‘enough is enough’. I am taking this stand in full knowledge that Irish Water will charge fees and penalties for non-payment.
“It is for that reason that I cannot others to do the same. This must be a decision for each individual family to make, for the needs of their family. I will not lambast or criticise others who choose to pay, however for me, I believe this is the right decision,” he added.
Cllr Doherty also pointed to Sinn Fèin’s alternative budget released last week.
“Sinn Fèin’s budget proposals proved that there is a different way. We will abolish water charges when in Government. There are more equitable and fair ways of getting Ireland out of the red than taking the last euro from our families pockets to give to Irish Water,” he concluded.