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Public Inquiry
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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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No-one will be safe from water charges if we don't stand and fight

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | opinion/analysis author Wednesday October 08, 2014 14:30author by Luke Eastwood Report this post to the editors

Everyone in this country and beyond could end up paying for basic resources that should be free

The Irish government is charging for public water as part of its TISA signup. This is just the start, we will all pay for all water if they have their way, even if we don't get any services from Irish Water. The eventual plan will be to privatize all resources so that absolutely nothing will be free in this country.
plughole.jpg

The previous government laid the foundations in 2007 for what this government is doing now, it's called the Water Services Act. Our current government, along with 22 other countries, signed up for the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) a few years ago, absent-mindedly forgetting to mention it to anyone - which has directly led to what is happening now in relation to our water supply.

Every year county councils receive money from the government for the management and maintenance of water facilities, this money comes out of our taxes. So as of January we will be expected to pay twice for our water to a non-state company.

In the case of well owners, they pay for no received services, pay the running costs for their own well and yet they too will have to pay eventually if they fill in the Irish Water application. Many rural householders believe they are safe from these charges - but this is not the case at all.

By signing the application form the householder accepts liability to be charged by Irish Water, even if they don't receive one drop of water from Irish Water. In many cases meters have been installed on private property without the householder's permission, Irish Water or their agents have no right to do so and no legal right to force people to become customers if they do not wish to.

What is worse than being asked to pay twice for our most precious natural resource is the fact that the government has kept silent about its plans to privatize the water industry - which will undoubtedly lead to higher costs again and possibly even lower quality supply.

Unfortunately, due to ignorance of the law, many people may unknowingly give away their legal rights if they complete and return the Irish Water form. This sneaky way of ensnaring the public and collecting data needs to be fully exposed to prevent people being hoodwinked.

This is a fight that the people of Ireland must take on board, not just for future generations but for people all over the world who are under threat from TISA and other such agreements that benefit corporations at the expense of sovereign nations and their people.

Do not sign the forms, return them unsigned. If you can, join the protests and local groups - this is too important to stand by and just let it happen. The government is afraid of people power, they don't listen now, but they can be forced to listen if enough people refuse to non-violently not comply. It's time the people of this country finally woke up and defended their rights against government/corporate abuse.

Read more at www.lukeastwood.com

Related Link: http://www.right2water.ie
author by growingresistencepublication date Mon Oct 13, 2014 22:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just after being reported on thejournal.ie -
http://www.thejournal.ie/cork-man-hunger-strike-water-c...2014/
Gary Coleman started the hunger strike at around 5pm outside Cork City Hall and is calling on people in Cork to join the protest planned in Cork city on 25 October and wants them to match the number of people who marched in Dublin last Saturday.

author by ruapublication date Mon Oct 13, 2014 09:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wholeheartedly agree,this is an unjust tax,on everyone rich or poor,but mainly poor,those who are in the workingclass bracket with kids or the unemployed will be mercilessly hit.

If they cannot pay up the full amount the water will be cut off,what is more inhumane than that we need water to sustain our life.

If you cannot pay - you don't live.

How did the government become so cruel and callous?

Watch out for the next big thing - it will be selling off our natural water assets to private companies who will charge us three times the amount!

author by anonpublication date Sun Oct 12, 2014 00:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This from Right2Water.ie ....

By Kathleen Lynch, Professor of Equality, UCD School of Social Justice

A tax on water is an indirect tax. It is deeply inegalitarian and unjust because it has to be paid regardless of income or capability, and because it is a tax on a ‘good’ that people must use to maintain life itself. It is a tax that people cannot avoid.

While those who are on low incomes can avoid some indirect taxes (alcohol, tobacco) they cannot avoid using water as they need it to live. Moreover, as a certain quantity of water is necessary for consumption and sanitation, it is not possible to radically reduce your consumption. Indeed if you are at home a great deal (unemployed, elderly, ill), it will cost you more than if you have a job, can afford to go to the gym, sports club etc. where you can use sanitation and shower facilities.

Water taxes are also unjust as they are a form of taxation that impact disproportionately on those with the lowest income. Recent research, based on CSO data (Collins, 2014: 17), shows that the lowest income group in Ireland (lowest 10%) spend 28% of their entire income in taxation, almost all of it on indirect taxes. This is only 1% less than the richest 10% who spend 29% of their income on taxes, mostly in direct taxation in their case.

So, no other social group spends as much of their income on taxation as the lowest income group apart from the top income group. This is mainly due to the extensive use of indirect taxes to collect taxes from the poorest people in Irish society.

Water charges are indirect taxes that will further propel the poorest into greater poverty. They are not just an attack on those on low incomes, however, the introduction of the individualisation of payment, through a market relationship with a provider, compromises every citizen’s right to water. Your individual ability to pay is what determines your right.

There is a need to set up a National Water Monitoring Body to oversee the protection of water as a human right in Ireland. Without an independent, non-commercial, non-party-political oversight body, there is a very real danger the human right to water in Ireland will be reneged upon in a few years, or whenever the next financial crisis arises.

Related Link: http://www.right2water.ie/blog/water-taxes-are-indirect-taxes-%E2%80%93-deeply-unjust
 
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