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I AGREE with Kathy Sinnott’s letter (August 31) arguing we should resist the water charges recommended by the recent report of the Commission on Taxation.
However, I would add another reason to those she has given: if charges for water are introduced here, then profit-hungry capitalists won’t be long in trying to get their greedy hands on a service that every household will have to pay for and where increasing profits are guaranteed. Greed-driven capitalists have done this in other countries with the support of the IMF.
I will bet that free market-supporting EU law, along with the EU Commission and the European Court of Justice, will support water privatisation in Ireland if they have their way.
Having said this, I agree local authorities need much more funding, not least to build council houses in order to provide homes for the 65,000-plus people on the social housing list who were virtually abandoned by a government that supported a free market in housing during the Celtic Tiger years.
It is up to the Government to provide most of this funding. It can do this by getting back money from those who availed of numerous tax breaks and incentives and political connections to make fortunes during the Celtic Tiger period, and especially from those who have hidden their profits in tax havens. Switzerland is making the necessary tax avoidance information available now, so the Government can start there.
Meanwhile, the “sensible and valuable derogation from the EU water framework”, as Kathy Sinnott describes it, provides something of a defensive barrier against a water privatisation attack, and we should not allow this barrier to be breached.
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