Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx 'toilet tax' petition with 6,000 signatures submitted

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Media captionThe petition was presented to Chris Thomas MHK ahead of the Isle of Man budget speech

A petition signed by more than 6,000 people opposing a so-called "toilet tax" has been presented to politicians on Isle of Man budget day.

Last month the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) announced plans to add a £50 yearly charge to all households on mains sewerage from April.

WASA also said the charge would rise to £100 a year in 2015.

The Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority said the charge followed a "reduction in its revenue grant".

WASA chairman John Houghton MHK said there was "no alternative."

Douglas West MHK Chris Thomas, who received the petition outside Tynwald, said: "6,300 signatures is 11% of the Manx electorate.

'Completely unfair'

"In the UK you need 100,000 signatures to get an e-petition considered which would translate to 100 in the Isle of Man.

"It is clearly a serious issue."

Spokeswoman for the petition, Amy Burns, said: "We are sick of paying for this government's mistakes.

Image caption The petition containing 6,314 signatures was presented outside Tynwald

"More than 6,000 signed in a little over two weeks. Yet again we are seeing the working class being hit and no more tax for the rich people. Something has to give."

The petition containing 6,314 signatures was presented to Douglas West MHK Chris Thomas ahead of the Isle of Man budget being announced.

Protester Roy Beale said: "It's is a regressive and completely unfair tax which will make the poor poorer.

"An older lady hit by benefit cuts and living on her own would pay the same as a millionaire. That can't be right.

Another protester, David Jilliner, said: "More people have signed the petition than voted for any of the currently-elected MHKs.

"It is roughly the same amount of people that live in Ramsey - there are lot of people who oppose this for good reason."

Speaking ahead of his budget speech, Treasury Minister Eddie Teare said: "The public are pushing back against everything we propose but we are deafened by a lack of alternatives."

A spokesman for WASA said they "currently have approval for a programme of works estimated at to cost approximately £32m of capital expenditure".

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