>> 22 Sep 2004


The charity, Help the Aged, has rightly raised the impact that water charges are going to have on the elderly.The government's plans to introduce water charges in Northern Ireland will push many older people and families on low incomes further into poverty, it warns, whilst advising that the current proposal for a 25% rebate would leave many pensioners struggling.

I agree. I think that many elderly people will really struggle with this iniquitous charge and the stupid manner in which it is being introduced based on the value of one's property. So an elderly pensioner, living alone perhaps in a house they have lived in for more than fifty years, which may have seen spectacular theoritical value increase, will be stung bigtime by this water charge. The 25% discount is an insult.

All this proves is that water charges should be based on usage - you pay for what you use. That way, we are all treated fairly. I also think even then, our elderly should be given further discounts as our way of ensuring that they do not worry about something so basic as water. We should treat our elderly with rather more respect than this Labour Government.


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