1) It’s about conservation. With 42% wastage in delivery, if conservation is the focus then the infrastructure should have been upgraded before a single meter was installed.
2) Where would we get the money to upgrade those pipes? Let Minister for Finance Michael Noonan make the short trip from Kildare St to Dame St, and have a chat with Central Bank Governor, Patrick Honahan; this year, as a legacy of Noonan’s promissory note ‘deal’ and the bailout of the European big-bank creditors of Anglo Irish Bank (yes, that’s still a ‘live’ issue), Honohan takes in and destroys €500m, and will take in and destroy €28bn over the next decade, costing the people of this country an average of €2bn per year for the next 40 years. Burn those bonds, not the billions, and rather than pay for this dead bank, invest those billions in the country.
3) It’s about discouraging those who wash cars daily/water gardens weekly. To discourage the few, you punish the entire population, imposing a charge on everyone? Yeah, right.
4) If there isn’t a dedicated tax/charge to pay for water supply, government will have to impose an extra 4% on higher income tax. We already pay for water supply through general taxation, as affirmed by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, so perhaps Minister Noonan would explain what the extra taxation is really for.
5) Farmers/businesses already pay for water. That’s commercial use. This proposed tax is for private homes, where those same business owners enjoy the same usage as everyone else.
6) Water is merely another utility, like gas and electricity and should be charged for on the same basis. You can survive without gas or electricity, difficult though this would be; you will not survive without water, a fact recognised by the UN and the EU and a right thus enshrined.
7) If you don’t register/pay, you can be cut off. You can’t — see point 6, above.
8) Irish Water is a public company, and can’t be privatised. Irish Water is a private company; though all shares are held by the government and this public ownership is protected in law, that same law can be changed overnight, and the company sold before we awaken in the morning (let no-one be under any illusion of how quickly this can happen — think blanket bank guarantee).
9) You are legally obliged to apply to Irish Water (the pack is an application, not a simple registration). No you’re not, as confirmed by legal experts.
10) Water doesn’t just fall from the sky. Look, we’ll just leave it at that!