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Last Monday I attended the Claire Byrne Live debate on Irish Water in RTÉ. Even though I have registered with Irish Water I have not paid any bills. However I am not a committed non-payer.
I was seated with the-non payers, something I felt uncomfortable about as they had to be reminded by Claire Byrne a number of times during the programme not to heckle Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell. Leaving aside RTÉ’s inability to cater for people like me I would like to highlight a cohort of people who will decide the future of Irish Water.
There are committed payers just as there are committed non payers. It’s unlikely these people will change their minds. However there are people like me who would like to pay their bills but are disillusioned with Irish Water and the government’s involvement in it. These people are the equivalent of undecided voters in an election campaign, the people that parties direct their campaign resources towards winning over. It’s undecided voters who have the real power.
As an “undecided voter” I would like to know why 40% of the €1.15 billion collected in motor tax in 2014 has gone directly to Irish Water. Is it true that €600,000 has been spent on a computer system to administer the “water conservation grant?” Finally is it true that Irish Water has put aside €39 million in redundancy payments to cater for staff layoffs as it realises it is overstaffed. I remain to be convinced that I should pay my bills. My heart wants to but my head is telling me the opposite.
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