FF Senators outraged at Government arrogance in Septic Tank debate

FG/Lab Senators vote in favour of discriminatory Bill


Fianna Fáil Senators have expressed their outrage the arrogant display from Fine Gael and Labour Senators during a Seanad debate on the controversial and discriminatory Septic Tank Bill.

After an attempt to block a number of Fianna Fáil Senators from voicing their opposition to the Bill to the Environment Minister Phil Hogan, Fine Gael and Labour Senators passed second stage the legislation in the Seanad.

Speaking afterwards Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill commented, “No matter how Minister Hogan tries to spin it, his Septic Tank Bill penalises rural communities and the 475,000 septic tank householders nationwide.  This is Phil Hogan’s own legislation and it is entirely in keeping with his stealth tax agenda. It is Minister Hogan’s choice to force the entire cost of registration and upgrade of septic tanks directly on to the homeowner, without making any grants available to those in financial difficulty.

“Today in the Seanad, there was an attempt to stifle democracy as five Fianna Fáil Senators were blocked from airing their strong views on this Bill. We fought to represent the views of hundreds of thousands of homeowners who are being penalised by Phil Hogan’s bill, simply because they do not have the luxury of access to heavily subsidised urban sewerage schemes. It is these people who, as a result of the decisions made by Fine Gael and Labour, will be forced to pay thousands of euro for registration, inspection and upgrade of their septic tanks.

“Following extensive pressure from Fianna Fáil at a local and national level, Minister Hogan today indicated to us in the Seanad that he may reduce the inspection fee to €20.  While we welcome any reduction in this unfair financial burden on rural dwellers, this is still just the thin end of the wedge and a drop in the ocean when you take into account the huge upgrade bills facing thousands of septic tank owners.  These upgrades have the potential of costing €17,000. For example a new septic and percolation area could cost up to €4,000. More technically advanced packaged treatments can cost up to €12,000, with additional installation costs of €5,000.

 “Fianna Fáil will continue to fight tooth and nail on behalf of rural Ireland against this Bill.  The Committee stage of the Bill is due to come into the Seanad next Wednesday and Fianna Fáil will be proposing a large number of amendments to the unfair measures in this legislation, as put forward by Fine Gael and Labour.”

Posted: Nov 16, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized