What’s happening on Irish Water and water charges #IrishWater #Right2Water

It WILL NOT cost €7bn (over 5 years) to wind down Irish Water. It will cost us OUR water and a whole lot of money to NOT wind it down NOW!

According to Engineers Ireland, it costs an average of €350 to provide water services to a household through general taxation. When you add-in water meters, the installation, maintenance and replacement of those meters, it doubles that cost to €700 per household. All of these are conservative estimates.

So, under the Irish Water model, with 1.5m households in the country, it’s gonna cost us €525m per year just to keep Irish Water going in terms of the metering costs, excluding all the advertisements, consultants, wastage, bonuses, fixing pipes etc. When they say it’ll cost €7bn (which is a lie) they’re glossing over the fact that:

1: They’re referring to costs already incurred.
2: We’d be paying those costs through charges or general taxation anyway – so it’s no different.
3: That scrapping water charges will put €271m back in the pockets of people who will spend it in the local economy – protecting local jobs and helping to create the demand to create more meaning an increase in VAT, income tax, USC, PRSI etc…

Those opposed to the water charges – the majority of people in this country – have told those in power that we would never accept their plans and that it was a massive waste. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets saying water charges are unfair and that we already pay for water. We and Right2WaterIreland told them to stop wasting Garda resources and our finances by imposing water meters all over the country and warned them that if they didn’t get rid of their ridiculous bailout charges we would be getting rid of them ourselves

And if they’re so concerned about finances, maybe they shouldn’t have given that €405m tax cut to the top 17% of earners in 2014. Or that €800m tax cut in 2015. Or the cut to employers’ PRSI and corporation tax last year. All done with the expectation that the rest of us would pay for it through water charges. This looking after the richest and hoping for a trickle down return is a nice myth they like to keep peddling – it doesn’t and has never worked…

trickle down economics - that's it

And what they also fail to tell you is that Irish Water will have to increase the bills by at least double in order to make it financially viable (due to the metering costs) in 2019 taking even more money out of the local economy.

And then there’s the obvious privatisation agenda.

In the UK for every £1 a household spends, 30% of that goes to the shareholders instead of fixing pipes. And if you can’t afford to pay, they can shut your water off like they do in Detroit, Rome, France and other EU countries. That was the plan for us in the future too, make no mistake.

So, abolishing water charges and Irish Water is economically more efficient; it’ll be good for the local economy; it’s fairer and will reduce inequality; it’ll mean we remain the only country in the EU with a guaranteed water poverty level of zero; and, it will protect us from future privatisation. Don’t buy the spin. We voted to end water charges!

And WE WILL…Irish water is sunk it’s up to the political parties if they want to go down with them!?

Fianna Fáil have promised to abolish Irish Water and to postpone charges for five years in the recent election – of course as labour’s Pat Rabbitte said after the last election, “Isn’t that what you tend to do during an election” and already we find that Fianna Fail are backtracking before they even enter discussions saying these are not “red line issues” in negotiating a government.  Well, to those of you who voted for them based on their promises how many times do Fianna Fail have to just stick two fingers up at the people of this country before people cop on (Sorry but I can’t help but say it)?! Of course I hope I’m proven wrong, highly doubt it though, and Fianna Fail halt this nonsense. They did bring them in in 2010 like!!?


Privatisation is still on their agenda. But we’re told it’s not – just as people were told, as people fought and unfortunately for all of us lost, the battle against the nonsensical privatisation of bin services – the arguments were the same –  worse services, less money into infrastructure, inefficiencies, higher costs.


The media, including RTÉ, are helping to aid the cause of privatisation – no surprises here! They’ve immediately jumped on the €7b figure Irish Water claims will be lost if Irish Water is abolished along with the charges.

This figure, as usual, might as well be plucked for someone’s behind. The real figures are €500m which has been wasted on meters – which will never be used. €170m on setting up the billing system and an estimated (by Irish Water) of €100m on redundancies, breaking leases etc. This is less than €1b, never mind €7b.

The made up part is €3.2b in estimated future savings and foregone income from charges if everyone pays up to 2021. Another €3b comes from their ‘fiscal space’ (the accountancy equivalent of a mother’s “We’ll see” ) if Irish Water borrowings are kept off the state’s books but Irish Water IS NOT off the government’s books. The EU has already ruled that Irish Water is to remain on the government’s books for the foreseeable future.

The whole media hype about people getting money back is just that – a load of hot air. Water charges were introduced in the 1980s and then abolished. The same thing happened in the late 1990s and those who paid didn’t get a penny back. So, it’s up to us to do it now, don’t pay. Seriously, if anyone’s really worried about being caught with a bill – put the money in the credit union and go on a holiday when Irish Water is ended because it has to be ended!

We’ve ALWAYS paid for water yet the media are still making out that we don’t want to pay! WE ALREADY PAY!!

We have to stand together for our Right2Water; abolish water charges and fund water services through progressive taxation, demand and get a referendum to keep OUR WATER in our control and free from privatisation, and replace Irish Water with a national water board to oversee investment and national strategy and get the best for all of us! Not some multinational water company!

Via Right2Change policy principles for a progressive government:

“Irish Water PLC’ will be replaced with a single national water and sanitation board which will be solely responsible for the provision, transmission, sanitation, management and operation of the public water and sanitation supply in the public interest.

This policy will see a full referendum to enshrine a new Article in Bunreacht Na h’Eireann. The date of this referendum would coincide with the establishment of the new national water board.

Article 28 Section 4:2.1

‘The Government shall be collectively responsible for the protection, management and maintenance of the public water system. The Government shall ensure in the public interest that this resource remains in public ownership and management.’


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