Senator Daly: If the Government had secured a write-down in the debt it would not now have to impose water charges. A government is supposed to represent all the people. That is what the Government is supposed to do but this Government does not represent all the people. As the Minister for Finance has said, they “govern for reasonable people”. That means they only govern for people who agree with them and we know, from the opinion polls, how few people agree with the Government.
The Minister for Health is not bothered about people protesting over €3 per week because he has bigger problems to solve. I agree he has bigger problems but there is homelessness, and people are fearful and people are hungry. The Irish League of Credit Unions would tell the Minister that 500,000 people have no money left at the end of the month. Where will they find €3 per week to pay the Minister’s water bills that he will send to himself next year? That money is simply not there. Some would say that the Minister is arrogant but I would say he just does not care. There is evidence, if he would like to see it, that half a million citizens of this country do not have any money at the end of the month to pay Irish Water bonuses which is what they would be paying for. The Minister for Finance has said he only governs for the people who agree with him. He does not govern for the people who protested yesterday. He does not govern for the 500,000 citizens of this State who do not have the money to pay the Irish Water bills. The Government has lost the trust of the people.
Eamon Gilmore is no longer a Minister because of the following statement. He said:
I’m against water charging. Water is a necessity, I’ve always believed essential services like water should be delivered as a public service. A flat household charge would be unfair and does not discriminate between houses with five bathrooms or none.