Friday, January 30, 2015


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 .