1) It’s about conservation. With 42% wastage in the delivery system, if conservation is the primary focus then upgrading the infrastructure should have been done before a single meter was installed.
2) Where would we get the money to upgrade those pipes? Let Michael Noonan make the short trip from Kildare St to Dame St, and have a chat with Central Bank Governor Patrick Honahan; this year, a legacy of Noonan’s Promissory Note ‘deal’ and the bailout of the European big-bank creditors of Anglo Irish Bank (yes, that’s still very much a ‘live’ issue), Patrick takes in and then destroys a full €500m, will take in and destroy a full €28bn over the next decade and more, destruction which will cost the people of this country an average of nearly €2bn/yr for the next 40 years. Burn those bonds, not the billions, and rather than continuing to pay for this now-dead bank, invest those billions in the country.
3) It’s about discouraging/punishing those who run taps/wash cars daily/water gardens weekly. To discourage the few, you legislate to punish the entire population, imposing a charge on everyone? Yeah, right.
4) If there isn’t a dedicated tax/charge to pay for water supply, government will have to impose an extra 4% on higher income tax rate. We already pay for water supply through general taxation, affirmed by Minister Simon Coveney, so perhaps Finance Minister Noonan would explain what the extra taxation is for, where it’s really going?
5) Farmers/businesses already pay for water. That’s commercial use, this proposed tax is for private homes, where those same business owners enjoy the same usage as everyone else.
6) Water is merely another utility like gas and electricity, should be charged for on the same basis. You can survive without gas or electricity, difficult though this would be; you will not survive without water, a fact recognised by the UN and the EU and a right thus enshrined.
7) If you don’t register/pay, you can be cut off. You can’t – see point 6 above.
8) Irish Water is a public company, can’t be privatised. Irish Water is a private company; though all shares are currently held by the government and this public ownership is protected in law, that same law can be changed overnight and the company sold before we awaken in the morning (let no-one be under any illusion of who quickly this can happen – think ‘blanket bank guarantee’…).
9) You are legally obliged to apply to Irish Water (the pack is an Application, not a simple registration). No you're not, confirmed time and again by a variety of legal experts.
10) Water doesn’t just fall from the sky. Look, we’ll just leave it at that!
The fact is, this isn't about a government acting responsibly to ensure a top-grade service to the public, this is a government which has long chosen to enable/protect the interests of the vultures over the interests of the people, is doing exactly that again here. Nearly €2bn in bank-debt interest to be paid this year (and rising), that ongoing infusion is our lifeblood.
This weekend again, in their hundreds of thousands, the people have spoken and the message is clear. No 'extend & pretend' measures, disband Irish Water. Enough.
Meanwhile, we in the Ballyhea and Charleville will maintain our campaign on the bigger issue and when everyone else is ready...