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Why I joined the water charges march, aged 71

I’m 71 and I had never been on a protest march until last Saturday, in Arklow. It was wonderful and emotional being in the middle of hundreds of decent Irish people finally standing up to our shamelessly self-serving government.

The protest was not because this new water tax is badly managed, which it is, nor because it means more jobs for the boys, which it does, nor because it is paying the ‘boys’ bonuses before any of them have achieved anything, but because the tax is utterly wrong — unjustifiable and immoral.

One of the more ludicrous justifications was Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s statement that water was similar to electricity and should be paid for as such. Is he unaware that humans lived without electricity for a million years, but no human can live without water for more than a few days?

The fiscal system extracts billions from the workers of Ireland and one of their highest priorities for that money must be to give citizens drinking water. Otherwise, what are they there for? There is not enough space here to suggest all the ways that they could free up a billion or two euro without hammering the lower paid even more. Enough is enough, Enda.

Richard Barton


Co. Wicklow


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