As the deadline for registering with Irish Water rapidly approaches, Sinn Fein’s deputy leader has said she will not pay water charges, despite registering with the semi-state body. This comes while anti-austerity campaigners distributed new leaflets advising people not to pay.
Sinn Féin is opposed to water charges in their current form but has been reluctant to encourage people not to pay, unlike the Anti-Austerity Alliance and the Socialist Party. One million households have registered with Irish Water, but if a prominent politician has registered with no intention to pay, it raises the possibility that the mass registration will not prove the success the government hopes.
A flurry of new leaflets found their way into the public’s hands in the last few days advising people that water charges could not be taken from income and that no penalties will be taken until July 2016. The fierce opposition to the charge could still prove a major problem for the coalition government more than a year before a general election.