Thurs 11/9: Local Organising Meeting for a Campaign to Abolish Water Charges
Cllr Brendan Young and the Community Solidarity group are hosting a meeting to discuss setting up a citizens campaign to unite all who want to abolish the water charge and ensure everybody can get water – as a human right and public good – irrespective of income. We are in discussion with Right2WaterIreland with a view to launching such a campaign nationwide.
The meeting will take place in the Rye Vale pub, Leixlip, on Thursday Sept 11 at 8pm. Individuals and representatives of groups welcome.
Our first concern is the ‘application pack’ being sent out by Irish Water. They have begun writing to householders, asking people to give personal identification details and to take liability to pay water charges.
But unlike the property tax, the water bill can’t be deducted from your income: it’s a bill – like electricity or gas. If you decide not to sign up, and you don’t pay, they can’t disconnect you. They can only threaten to reduce your pressure (at the meter) or deny your children a ‘free’ allowance.
But less than one third of all homes will have meters in October (when metering starts) and at least 300,000 will never be metered (and will always face an estimated charge) – so pressure can’t be reduced. So most people will get estimated bills next January. If lots of people don’t pay, Irish Water will find it very hard to force them – especially if people organise to oppose them.
There will be a General Election within the next 18 months. So now is the time to put it on the agenda and tell politicians: scrap the water charge. Non-cooperation with Irish Water is a strong message to them – and a first step to abolishing this unfair charge.