independent

Friday 23 August 2019

Septic tank fees 'smokescreen'

Yours Faithfully, Mary Meyler Wexford

Dear Editor, I AM WRITING in relation to the proposed septic tank registration fees and subsequent inspections to be carried out. I am seriously worried that most people in Ireland are blissfully unaware of the implications both the registration and subsequent inspections will have on rural dwellers.

The recent announcement by the government stating that there will be a €50 registration charge for septic tank owners is a smokescreen, set up to deliberately deceive the rural dwellers that the impending costs will be minimal. However, this is just the beginning and the subsequent costs could be enormous for those people living in the countryside with many people, both young and old, having to pay out thousands of euro.

Let me explain. The government will be carrying out inspections on every septic tank and sewage system in Ireland and they propose that you pay for the registration and upgrade costs. This will apply to everyone who is not on a public sewer scheme, even if your septic tank or treatment system is new, regardless of whether you are rich or poor, young or old. It could cost you thousands of euro on top of the thousands you may have already paid.

The government are attempting to deceive us all by claiming that the registration fee will be minimal.

However, once the charges are introduced, even if they are very small now, they will escalate and may have to be paid every year. The biggest expense, however, will be the upgrade costs and you may have to upgrade the sewage system every few years.

These charges are not part of the austerity measures. They will continue long after the country gets back on its feet.

These charges are totally unfair and discriminate against rural dwellers.

Urban dwellers will not be taxed. They will continue to have their sewage facilities paid for by the government (i.e. by us, the taxpayer), including all the upgrade and maintenance costs. Billions of EU and government money (taxpayer's money) have been used to provide sewage facilities to all the towns and cities throughout the country.

Why does the government not provide the same amount of money for sewage facilities in rural areas?

I call on you to stand up and be counted and show Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, and the government they cannot walk all over us. We demand to be treated with fairness and equality and as equals to urban dwellers.

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