Wed 2nd February
He said: “In the Direct Rule era the whole case for water charges was built up around a water privatisation agenda which has been roundly rejected since the return of devolution. It makes no sense to promote water charges as some sort panacea for Northern Ireland’s budget problems since the potential financial product would amount to only around 2% of our budget.
“This is not the first issue facing us in the water area. There are very serious problems of governance, management efficiency and the need to achieve savings that need to be tackled. The SDLP believes that mutualisation – joint ownership of our water infrastructure by the people who use the water and sewerage services – is the best way forward and that is the context in which the need for future investment in infrastructure should be considered.”
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