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Removal of water charges from welfare is new low

The threat to take water charges directly from wages and welfare payments (Irish Examiner, Fri May 8) surely marks a new low in the extortion of money from citizens by private and quasi-private corporations.

It used to be that people worked and paid taxes and in return they got a functioning social infrastructure, with education, healthcare, nursing care when we got old, welfare and public utilities.

Now we pay more tax, yet have to pay again for school buses, accident and emergency, bin collection, water services, nursing home beds etc. Not only do our taxes, direct and indirect, pay for private bank debt but additional layers of charges for services also end up in the bank accounts of the corporations.

Why are extremely lucrative sources of revenue like the telecoms networks, the LUAS network and natural gas supplies in private rather than public hands? These guaranteed revenue streams could be used to fund essential services and welfare instead of filling the coffers of multinationals, who pay practically no tax.

Maeve Halpin


Dublin 6


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