Moves to make consumers pay a new, separate charge for reticulated water in Ireland has caused an outcry, massive demonstrations and a rushed law to protect meter installers. It could also bring down the government at the 2016 election. A Little Darwin correspondent living in Ireland , an Australian , says there have been amazing scenes in Dublin and in his smaller village . Trucks carrying equipment and men to install water meters have been set on fire . Legislation has been passed making it an offence to go within a certain distance of meter installers and readers in a bid to protect them from angry people .
The cost of the water supply has been included in general taxes. The imposition of a specific water charge is regarded as double taxation. Ireland has been hammered by austerity measures brought as a result of having to bail out six failed private banks with loans of 85billion Euro from the European Financial Stabilisation Facility and the International Monetary Fund. The austerity measures have caused severe social repercussions such as home repossessions, homelessness, cutbacks to social services , unemployment and emigration. An independent assessment of ways and means of paying the loans suggested the setting up of a separate water supply service , Irish Water, the CEO of which receives 200,000 Euros . The cash strapped populace has seen the gap between the rich and poor grow by 11 percent in the period 2007-2012. Water privatisation is seen as an undesirable growing trend .