Yesterday afternoon in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, a crowd assembled at 2pm outside the town hall in order to collectively burn their bills in a symbolic act of defiance of Irish Water and the government’s plans to introduce a double charge for water provision.
The assembled protesters understand that if everyone paid up and Irish Water managed to establish these charges, they would rapidly increase to the point where water charges were a lucrative revenue stream for the company and a significant drain on our limited incomes.
If that were to happen, the government would certainly privatise the company and virtually gift ownership of the rights to water provision to a profit seeking company. Nowhere in the Water Services Act (2013) does it say that privatisation is prohibited.
In fact, Eurostat noted in a letter to the CSO in July of this year that “Privatisation Of Irish Water Is Ultimately Envisaged”. Further, Irish Water was established as a subsidiary of another privatised company, Bord Gáis (privatised in mid 2014 as part of the IMF/Irish State engineered giveaway of Irish assets to international capital).
A major issue with privatisation is that it will mean a further increase in charges as a profit seeking capitalist enterprise seeks to maximize returns for its investors. As such, investment in infrastructure would be a fairly low priority as it is simply not profitable. All this means is that privatisation is good for them and bad for us.
While the fire was getting started, two members of the Scrap the Water Charges Kildare campaign group emphasized the importance of non-payment to ensure that Irish Water is defeated no matter who is in government. After giving a couple of points of information to the crowd, the bills were dropped into the fire to chants of “No way, we won’t pay!”.
Oh, and Eddie Hobbs walked by and refused a leaflet…the bollox.