After years of fierce austerity measures, the Irish Water debacle seemed to blast the last few bits of patience the Irish people had. No scheme has gathered more public unrest and controversy then the formation of the privately owned company Irish Water. This article is not attempting to influence or inform your decision on whether to pay the charge or not. There is a plethora of information out there to do that. What will be discussed however is why exactly the formation of the company Irish Water is illegal, as is the actions of the Irish Government. What follows is utter insults to the integrity of the people of Ireland by Fine Gael and Labour, and the tactics employed by the Government and Irish water to legitimize blatant illegal actions, resulting in an illegal domestic charge, and illegal contract (both by Irish and EU law) and nothing but an abuse and mockery of the Irish people
Fine Gael and Labour were elected in a time of severe economical crisis. Severe cuts, increased taxes, and high unemployment and a general feeling of despair greeted the new coalition government, whose best policy was honesty, if words are anything to go by. Now, while no one would ever voluntarily testify to the honesty of a politician, people had genuine hope, or at least belief, that a new party could hardly be worse than the last.
What came was a series of exploitative job schemes (Jobbridge) rooted in maintaining a welfare state, and yet again, increased taxation. But this time, the tax came in a form completely unexpected. While Water charges had been on the cards as early as 2009, no-one could have predicted the deceitful tactics employed by the Irish government to privatize Ireland’s water.
Is That Even legal?
On the 25th of December-yes, Christmas day- the legislation to privatize Irelands water, The Irish Water Act 2013, was signed into law. This was to pass the law without massive amounts of public attention
Firstly, there is existing EU legislation (Europeans Competitions Treaty Act art. 82 and 86) which prohibits the privatization of natural resources, so the Irish Water Act is in breach of EU competitors law.
Also, under the EU Water directive 2000, Ireland does not have to pay for water charges. However, as the Irish Water website kindly informs us “The Irish Government introduced national legislation in 2013 (Water Services Act No. 2) obliging Irish Water to introduce charging for the supply of domestic water services.”
It is highly evident from the above that the implementation of the company Irish Water was managed in a way to go unnoticed and unapproved by the people of Ireland.
To add further insult to injury, the Minister Alan Kelly is due to renew Ireland’s EU exemption on Water charges in January, which he intends not to do. As reported on avaaz.org ,
“Last week the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said that Ireland did not have an exemption from domestic water metering and charging as defined in the EU Water Services Directive.
This was simply untrue, and the EU have confirmed this.”
A Torrent of Tyranny
• Irish Water is owned by Denis O Brien, who owns GMC/Sierra and Communicorp, a media Giant who owns many of Ireland’s radio stations. Irish Water was not a legally registered or certified company at the time it signed a contract with the Irish Government, and did not possess an EU (required) Tax certificate of registration.
• Many have been critical of Irish Water’s bullying threats to people who don’t pay their charges. Turning off their water supply, directly taxing their wage or social welfare payment, but interestingly circling around court hearings. Irish water is currently being delayed due to major disputes in the courts already.
• Irish people already pay Water charges. The Property Tax introduced in 2011 is supposed to cover the costs of “Essential Services” which includes the water system. VAT was increased in the 1970’s to cover the costs of maintain the water infrastructure. The government, and company Irish Water want you to continue paying these, plus your average 260 euro a year.
• The meters currently being installed in thousands of homes across Ireland are the same meters that are currently being uninstalled across America due to concerns of dangerous radiation emissions.
Irish people are angry for a number of reasons; a strange company demanding details and PPS no’s, employing bullying tactics to those who don’t pay an already paid for charge, and the blatantly deceitful illegal and bullying actions of the Irish Government complacent to Irish Water in the form of controlled media, downplaying the real issues with regards to the privatization of Ireland’s water, ignoring mass protests, and most recently, Enda Kenny’s refusal to call a general election early, despite widespread angst. There is a lack of transparency in the Irish government, and the establishment of Irish Water is a prime example of why: to push through agendas in favour of the elite few. There is a history of such in Irish politics. As long as they can bully and make unreasonable demands of the Irish people, be assured, they will continue to. Rising rent and house costs, rising intuition fees, “Temporary” Universal social charge, Property Tax, Water charges: only we can decide when it will end. Ireland is no longer a land of scholars, but a land of many who can no longer afford education, a place to live, and soon, one of the basic human needs, water.
“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”