Not satisfied with the blow given to them by the Irish public, ‘Irish Water’ are again pushing for the commodification of Ireland’s water resources. This time they are doing it under the ruse of needing an extra two billion euro of tax-payers’ money to guarantee the greater Dublin areas water supply, by building a 170-kilometre pipeline to bring 330 million litres per day from the River Shannon to the area. This is all very convenient coming a few days after the announcement that Irish Water have plans in place to introduce excess water charges from next year.
According to Irish Water, excess use charges will not begin until January 1st, 2019, “at the earliest” while bills for excess use charges will not be issued until July 1st next year “at the earliest”. In order to make up for its losses and to fund these huge infrastructural projects Irish Water will be charging huge amounts on what it considers to be ‘excessive’ water waste. ‘Irish Water’ has cost YOU the Irish tax-payer billions of euro, more than enough to make the improvements necessary to our water infrastructure; instead, the state spent OUR money propping up another one of their failed quangos. This is just the first in a coming onslaught of news stories about Irish Water being unable to reach its infrastructural targets due to ‘under-funding’, and so our tax money will have to make up the shortfall.
The privatisation agenda of the neo-liberal extremists has failed; we need to drive home that message to them. Éirígí has been in consistent opposition against these unjust charges as far back as 2011; our activists have been on the ground throughout the anti-water charge campaign with some even being arrested for the ‘crime’ of peacefully blocking water meter installations.
The state will continue to pressure for increased water charges over the coming months as they attempt to soften up the population for huge increases in water charges. The tactics of mass civil disobedience (non-payment of water bills), peaceful direct action (blocking water meter installations) and mass protests have all been used in the past with great effect, ultimately bringing the state and Irish Water to their knees. These tactics have been successful in the past and they can be used successfully in the future. Together we can win, but we must all redouble our efforts to smash the Water Tax once and for all!