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Water Charges April 15, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

So as expected Water Charges are next.
But to read today that …

The Taoiseach has confirmed that households will have to pay for their own water meters….

Has he not noticed that 800,000 people failed to register for the Household charge, what chance is there that people will pay €300 to get a water meter installed?


1. ejh - April 15, 2012
2. Eoin O'Mahony - April 15, 2012

It might be more strange again. The machine may have to be paid for, the installation may be free. However I think this was released tonight to take some wind out of labour sails.


3. CMK - April 15, 2012

A lot the poor buggers who did what they thought was their duty and registered and paid the EUR 100.00 are probably going to be skinned very quickly for that EUR 300.00.

Three hundred euro is two and half week’s penion, with the household tax it’s two weeks pension. And the propaganda offensive against pensioners is stepping up a gear (see last weeks ‘Are Pensioners Untouchable?’ programme on TV3’s ‘Midweek’. This government clearly seems to have a deathwish as well as complete inchorence. The eircom site earlier today was reporting Gilmore stating that no decision had been made. An hour later RTE News site is reporting that Kenny as confirming the decision has been made and it’s a done deal. If this goes ahead I’m predicting that Labour on 5 seats at the next election would be an excellent result for them.


4. Alan Rouge - April 15, 2012

Saw this very good comment on Henry Silke’s Facebook:
“It’s like buying your mugger the knife with which to mug you”


5. LeftAtTheCross - April 16, 2012

Perhaps it’s a ploy to discourage people from attempting to disable the meters. You break it, you pay for it, again.


6. FDR - April 16, 2012

There is indeed a pretty low chance that a majority would pay up for meters. But if you are otherwise billed on presumed usage, then there would be an incentive to invest to prove lower actual usage. I’ve had smart electricity meters in all my properties for years and recorded a circa 10% usage decrease on average, which has clearly paid for itself many times over. Solar investments a bit more marginal. Looking at grey water collection stuff now too.

Obviously, for this to work will require a way to collect dues from recalcitrant citizens. To be effective, this would likely need to be a system for deducting dues at source (via PAYE or social welfare system etc. In the US it’s picturesquely called ‘garnishment’). The key to this is the consolidated household database, to be enabled by the ‘data protocols’ that Hogan keeps mumbling about. I can’t quite understand why all the placard-wielders are dissipating energy by tackling each ‘new’ tax in turn rather than focussing strategically on frustrating the introduction of the underlying system that will enable those individual taxes be levied and collected. I guess that the nature of ragtag protest groups is that they are better at tactics than strategy but the weekend scenes at the Labour conference are the first hint that the rebel alliance is on a track to lose the support of civic society.


CMK - April 16, 2012

That last part is completely wrong. ‘Civic society’, as you quaintly put it, is having to get by on a 100 euro disposable income a month. I think ‘civic society’ will overlook a few scuffles outside the conference of a Quisling political party, when the state is looking to skin half of its members of four months’ disposable income. While a person who has to spend time looking after ‘all my properties’ (how many? 1, 2, 10 or are you in Alan Shatter territory?) will probably barely notice a couple of hundred euros there are millions in this small state of 4.6 million who will. As for the tactics and strategy of what you, predictably, describe as ‘ragtag protest groups’; on this very issue we’re discussing you have the Deputy leader of the government, one in the midst of a mass campaign of civil disobedience, say there would be no imposition of extra costs and you have the Leader of the government several hours later directly contradict him and confirm there will. There doesn’t seem to be much tactics or strategy there but is more resembles a ragtag outfit than the current CAHWT.


Ed - April 16, 2012

Would this be the same Franklin Delano Roosevelt who predicted on this sight a massive surge of payment of the household charge in the days leading up to the deadline, leaving its left-wing opponents high and dry? Forgive me if I harbour doubts about your own strategic percipience


Ed - April 16, 2012

‘site’ doh!


ThisHouseFellofftheBackOfALorry - April 16, 2012

On a different note:- why are people like you not registered at every Local Authority? Over 60% of all private rented accommodation in this State, is partly State subsidised. Yet, there is no way of knowing who these owners are.
Is it criminal that a bank will loan to someone for a second house (sometimes when they themselves have(only) a personal house mortgage), on the understanding that disenfranchised poor will pay for it.
And by the way; in some cases now, Local authorities (this Govt.) is saying ‘You are NOT being allocated any local auth. housing; as the accomm. you are in at present is adequate and “the Government considers that it has fulfilled it’s Social Duty to you” ‘.! i.e. Absolutely nothing!! – except private accomm.!!


FDR - April 16, 2012

Apologies, I didn’t mean to come across all Castle Rackrent or indeed Alan Shatter: I only have 3 properties, 2 in this State, and they are for personal use and not rented.

@ed, last time I checked the proportion of registrants/payees for the household charge was comfortably over 50% and rising. In old money, that’s a majority. I would expect this to be up close to 70% by year-end. That leaves the refuseniks in a shrinking minority, being funded by all the other hard-pressed citizens. If you did use your last 100 quid that month to pay the charge, you’re pretty annoyed that Joe next door instead chose to deploy it on 200 Silk Cut.

But the underlying point remains: the reality is that when the state moves to enforce payment of these charges, as it will, most will reluctantly pay up. If you’re serious and thoughtful about opposing them, you need a better structural answer than adding another letter to @CMK’s already unwieldy acronym.


Ed - April 16, 2012

You predicted, with great certainty and not a little smugness, that there would be a huge surge in payment coming up to the deadline and that it would comfortably exceed 50%. There was no surge, and it was nowhere near 50%. There was some desperate cooking of the books to try and bring the number up to 50% (under-estimating the number of people liable, counting people who registered but didn’t have to pay etc.) but any sensible person could see through it.

The household charge has been recognised in the media as a fiasco for the government (although naturally they refuse to credit the people who refused to pay, it must be down to Phil Hogan’s incompetence they maintain, usual BS). Your prediction was wildly inaccurate, so again, while you are free to tell us what you ‘would expect’ to be the case, we are free to see things very differently.

Talk of how we are going to ‘lose the support of civic society’ is classic concern trolling of the sort I’ve seen LP members indulging in lately (“oooh, you need to be worried about getting hijacked, oooh, you’ll alienate people” – yeah lads thanks, seems like ye have been doing a pretty good job of alienating people yourselves judging by the poll figures, we’ll just take your advice with a pinch of salt ok?)


EamonnCork - April 19, 2012

The only ‘support from civic society’ the protest movement was the refusal of a large amount of members of said society to pay the charges. Having achieved that I don’t think they’ll be too worried about the faux concern of right wingers.
Mind you I can see why FDR supports the water charges. Trolls live under bridges, don’t they?


7. irishelectionliterature - April 16, 2012

I wonder are they starting to backtrack already having got an incredibly negative reaction. FG TD Alan Farrell , not known for his rebellious tendencies just tweeted…
“Charging for water meters is daft. How can a household justify such expense? ”

If it is being used to encourage conservation of water, then its ludicrous that Apartments will not have a meter but just a flat fee. In effect they can leave their taps on all day. Crazy stuff.


8. Tawdy - April 16, 2012

Looks like there is a fine time coming. It will be very interesting to see who goes with which side, party whip notwithstanding.

If, not when, they come to my home there is a difficulty. The water cutoff tap in on my property, where will they fit this meter of theirs without causing damage to my property ?.

Also if the meter that I`m supposed to pay for malfunctions who is responsible, me? How will that affect my house insurance?

What I`m trying to get at is that there are hidded costs to all this meter business that seems to be overlooked here.


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13. Jim Monaghan - April 19, 2012

There is a capital cost for all this. As was suggested by the Wicklow independent TD, this could be used for a small stimulus. Say expanding broadband, dealing with leaks, the new DIT campus, whatever.There are a dozen things which would have a real positive effect on the economy both short term and long term. I have usually had a dimmer view of the economy than a lot of the left but it seems to be really stupid to use what little money is left in the expansion reserve pot for something that does not create wealth or even save wealth.
The reality is hat the troika is intent on making a bigger Bord Gas which can be then sold off at a low price.We are on our way into the Third World.


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