In the run up to the general election party manifestos were published, election literature printed, and positions were taken on issues for all to see.
Those who said that they would abolish water charges were in the majority BEFORE on the streets & AFTER the election even in the Dail! There was enough TDs to vote to ACTUALLY ABOLISH IRISH WATER AND WATER CHARGES.
But, Fianna Fail were lying; no shock to most of us, they’ve supported the minority government through everything; because the truth is there’s no difference between any of the establishment parties.
Fianna Fail committed to bringing in water charges in 2010 with the Troika agreement and are ideological driven towards privatisation and neoliberal reforms as are Fine Gael, Labour and even the Green Party in Ireland under Eamon Ryan.
Those who said the would abolish water charges: Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, Social Democrats, People Before Profit, Anti-Austerity Alliance, and a list of independents such as Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins, Thomas Pringle, and others, had the support of the majority and that was reflected in the election results where the overall majority of the Dail were for abolition.
Water is a human right, essential for life and for all our human needs. As such, water provision and sanitation should not be subject to the profit motive or the free market and should be made available to all, free at the point of use, and on the basis of need, not means.
‘Irish Water PLC’ and domestic water charges will be abolished within the first 100 days of 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.’
This policy will provide for an end to water meter installation and ensuing costs.
This policy will see conservation measures legislated for including mandatory planning permission requirements, incentivised and subsidised water saving devices, and a public education campaign.
Our water infrastructure is in desperate need of investment in order to upgrade the system and repair leaks. This policy provides for an investment of between €6 and €7 billion to be provided through a progressive taxation model, details of which are available in the accompanying ‘Fiscal Framework Document’.
Funding our water services through progressive taxation measures will ensure citizens always have access to water based on their needs without the possibility of water shut-offs due to unpaid bills in the future. It will also ensure our water services will never be privatised and that Ireland remains with zero water poverty.
Outside of Right2Change were Fianna Fail and Social Democrats. The Social Democrats voted against the government. But Fianna Fail decided to join Fine Gael in government and together attempt to finish their programme of Structural Adjustment [“Structural Adjustment refers to a set of economic policies often introduced as a condition for gaining a loan from the IMF. Structural adjustment policies usually involve a combination of free market policies such as privatisation, fiscal austerity, free trade and deregulation.”]
This piece will focus on Fianna Fail who have really gotten away with their lies! A compliant media and press allows their party machine to pretty much rewrite history in whatever way they wish. Here’s what Fianna Fail ACTUALLY said in the run up to the election!
“Abolish Irish Water and end water charges”
“Irish Water has been a complete failure on the part of the government. Since it failed the Eurostat test, the very reason it was set up, it is incapable of delivering major investment in our water network. Instead it is imposing a water charges regime where families are paying for a service that does not deliver, operated by a quango that simply is not working. People should not be expected to pay for a service that is not up to standard. We need a 21st century water system that will attract global business investment, allow businesses and agriculture to expand and provide safe water to homes. Irish Water has failed to achieve basic public legitimacy, has diverted resources away from the water infrastructure and does not have the capacity to focus on its most important tasks. We will:
– End the failed water charges regime. This will save families €160 per year and allow the better use of state resources. – Abolish Irish Water and create a new slimmed down agency to deliver the national water investment programme. The National Water directorate will develop a nationwide approach while local services will be handed back to democratically elected local authorities with on the ground knowledge.
According to the Department of the Environment the net cost of scrapping water charges would be of the order of €210m annually. This would be replaced by a direct state subvention to the new National Water Directorate, which will be run at an approximate cost of €16.2m per annum. We would also fully provide for the costs of winding down Irish Water, at a cost of €9.1m and abolish the government’s botched Water Conservation grant to save the state €110m. ”
[pages 38-39 “An Ireland for All” Fianna Fail Manifesto 2016 PDF DOWNLOAD HERE]
Post election Fianna Fail voted with Fine Gael to “suspend” water charges and set up a commission. Now, “abolish” and “suspend” are two different words with very different meanings!
FIANNA FAIL’S WATER CHARGES…
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November 2010 between Ireland and the Troika the following was stated on the issue of water:
“To secure our fiscal targets, a number of fiscal measures have been identified for 2012–14…We are also planning to move towards full cost-recovery in the provision of water services…” (pg 8)
And at that time John Gormley (Green Party) spoke of volumetric water charges in the Dail – metering of water.
THEY REALLY TAKE US ALL FOR FOOLS!!
LET’S KEEP PROVING THEM WRONG!!
THEY ALSO SAY PROTESTS DON’T WORK!!?
OUR PROTESTS ARE ALL THAT HAS ACTUALLY WORKED SO FAR AGAINST THEIR WHOLESALE THEFT – SO ALL OUT AGAIN AND LET’S MAKE IT CLEAR THAT IT’S
ABOLITION NOT SUSPENSION!!