Public Private Partnerships are already privatising our public water system 13:00 Dec 19 0 comments
Irish Water: Killing off conservation and the real agenda behind water charges 12:03 Jan 18 2 comments
RTÉ Primetime Parrots State Propaganda on Water Charges 19:39 Dec 14 1 comments
Defeating the water charges - Don’t be fooled by the concessions 23:28 Dec 02 0 comments
Water Charge FAQ - your questions answered 01:16 Nov 01 0 commentsmore >>
Itâ€™s Time to Let Us Hug Who We Want Wh... Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:43 | Allison Pearson
Four in Five Oxford COVID Jabs Delivered... Fri Feb 26, 2021 09:43 | Daniel Boffey
Bidenâ€™s First War: US Bombs Iraqi Shia... Fri Feb 26, 2021 07:20 | Dave DeCamp
China Denies Requiring US Diplomats to T... Fri Feb 26, 2021 07:05 | Gabriel Crossley
How Lockdown Changed Us Thu Feb 25, 2021 18:47 | Freddie Sayers
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
A Woulfe in judges clothing Anthony
A Blog About Human Rights
Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights
Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights
Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights
Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights
US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights
The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan
What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith
The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith
Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh
Water Charges and TTIP!
international | bin tax / household tax / water tax | other press Sunday November 16, 2014 01:15 by T
This is a repost of an important article on the Irish Left Review website and goes into detail on the connection between the Water Charges and the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is currently being concluded in secret by the EU and US.
The origin of the present water charges lies in the EUs Water Framework Directive (2000) which provided for full cost recovery for water use and whose Article 9 states:
‘Member States shall take account of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services …’
It also required Member States to have in place water-pricing policies by 2010. The Directive was transposed into Irish Law in 2003.
So, the origins of these punitive charges, this time around, are the Water Framework Directive which seeks to commodify water provision through the establishment of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services. The EU took advantage of the ‘bailout’ to make it a condition of the ‘loans’. This will open the way for the sale of Irish Water either in whole or in part, ostensibly to complete the single market or to promote competition ‘in the interests of the consumer’. This is just one reason why there is such resistance to a constitutional referendum to permanently retain Irish Water in public ownership – the other is TTIP.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), is currently being concluded in secret by the EU and US. Both sides have made clear their intention to use TTIP to get access to what is described as “public monopolies;” that is, public utilities including water. These services would then be vulnerable to greater outsourcing and private tendering for service delivery and eventually, to privatisation.
TTIP would open up public procurement contracts to the private sector, meaning that social, environmental or “public good” goals in public procurement would be removed. A private monopoly can fix its price at an unaffordable level, as Bechtel did in Bolivia, leading to a popular uprising; the termination of the contract and replacement of the government.
It would also make the nationalisation (or renationalisation) of services or resources virtually impossible, as incredibly, corporations would be able to sue for loss of future and expected profits. This is facilitated by the inclusion of an (ISDS) Investor – State Dispute Settlement clause in TTIP.
The TTIP agreement increases the pressure for the privatisation of ‘services of general interest’, such as water services. Foreign suppliers of services of general interest should not be entitled to claim “forgone profits” through ISDS. This provision, in effect would further legalise neo-liberalism as the economic and social framework in Ireland and the EU.
But even if ISDS is removed from TTIP, the main goal remains; to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet these ‘barriers’ are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules, regulations on the use of toxic chemicals and digital privacy laws. The stakes could not be higher.
Public water provision is only one of the services under threat from TTIP. Both water charges and TTIP must be defeated!