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Charging for Water

The following article appeared in the Irish Daily Mirror on 24th February, 2014

Charging for Water

Nothing shows up the basic dishonesty of Irish politics more than the approach to water charges.

 

Half the country is being dug up at present to install water meters, yet we still don’t know how much the Government intends to charge us.

 

And of course the reason we don’t know is because Fine Gael and Labour don’t want us to know. With the Local and European elections only three months away, it suits the Government parties just fine if there’s a delay in working out the details of the water charges. It means their local election candidates can kick any awkward questions to touch with “well that’s been looked at” or “I’ll make a strong case for you on that”.

 

But why should we tolerate such gombeenism? There are very fundamental questions on the operation of water charging that the public need to know right now. How much will the free allowance be? What will be the charge for usage in excess of the allowance? How will people with medical conditions that require higher water usage be treated? How will unmetered homes be charged?

 

It’s just not good enough that these basic questions remain unanswered. For once, the Government should put the public interest ahead of its own interests.