Peo­ple need to get on streets to voice op­po­si­tion, says Mary

Bray People - - NEWS - DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

WHILE THERE is much de­bate about the prop­erty tax, water charges and sep­tic tank saga one South Wicklow woman says that the peo­ple of Ire­land need to get out on the streets and voice their op­po­si­tion.

Mary McDon­ald from Avoca lives with her hus­band in Kil­ma­coo. Both are in re­ceipt of the state pen­sion and be­lieve that the taxes they are be­ing pres­sured to pay are not even ben­e­fit­ting lo­cal ser­vice.

‘We, like many other live in a ru­ral area. There are no street lights, no paths, no pub­lic trans­port. We live two and a half miles from the near­est bus stop which once in Ark­low leaves an hour later. The ru­ral com­mu­nity is not well served at all and yet we are be­ing asked to pay th­ese taxes,' Ms. McDon­ald says.

While the McDon­alds will be hit with water and prop­erty taxes like the rest of the pop­u­la­tion they are also amongst the thou­sands of homeowners who could be faced with a hefty bill in or­der to up­date their sep­tic tank.

‘We built our own sep­tic tank when we were mar- ried and built our house in 1968. If those liv­ing in ur­ban ar­eas can have their tanks looked af­ter free of charge then why can't ru­ral dwellers? There is a pal­try grant avail­able but we don't even know how much it would cost to up­gade. It could be up to €20,000. We have spent all our lives look­ing af­ter our­selves, paying our taxes. We pro­vided our own home and now when we are on the pen­sion we are faced with all th­ese taxes. Who would be able to af­ford that?' ‘I don't mind so much about the water charges as we need clean water and are will­ing to pay for pump­ing and san­i­ta­tion but the other taxes are just a way to bail out more bond­hold­ers. They can dress it up what­ever way they like but that is the re­al­ity.' As part of the na­tional cam­paign CAWHT Mary has at­tended var­i­ous pub­lic meet­ings and marches in Dublin and Wicklow. ‘I can­not un­der­stand why more peo­ple are not out on the streets show­ing the government how they feel. Around 300,000 peo­ple did not pay the house­hold charge yet they are not coming out in protest. Peo­ple have had enough and they need to show they mean busi­ness.'

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