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I APPEAL to Fine Gael and Labour to rebuff the approaches being made by a desperate Government to provide cover for their disastrous mishandling of the economy?
The budget deficit, caused by the failure of successive Fianna Fáil-led governments to implement a fair, progressive tax system simply can’t be reduced to 3% by 2014 without decimating our economy and society.
The latest kite being flown to raise funds is charging for water. Since hardly any meters are installed, this is likely to be a flat charge of several hundred euro per year. Such a tax is very regressive as it hits the least well off proportionally much harder.
If the Government really was serious about conserving water, it would harness a tiny fraction of the €50bn being wasted on greedy banks to use unemployed building workers to repair the leaking pipes which cause 40% of all treated water to be lost.
During the very cold spell last winter, a sea of water was lost by burst pipes — the inlets from the mains being too close to the surface due to light touch building regulation. An even greater ocean was wasted by householders letting their taps running to prevent frozen pipes. Again, if only 0.1% of the bank bailout was invested in properly insulating these pipes, it would not only reduce wastage, but also provide a badly needed jobs and spending stimulus.
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