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Behold the ‘deal’ on water… April 21, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…according to the IT and other media outlets this morning:

At the centre of the agreement is the suspension of water charges until a new charging system with generous allowances is put in place and a process that will see Irish Water changed from a commercial entity to a public utility.

And:

The new charging system will be based on conservation and it was claimed the new allowances will be generous enough to cover normal family usage. A comprehensive system of waivers, meaning pensioners who qualify for the household package and other social welfare recipients will no longer have to pay any charges, is also expected.
The net effect will be that a significant proportion of households will no longer have to pay water charges. Those who continue paying will be given a larger allowance, which should result in smaller bills.

Can that possibly fly with the electorate? Does it split up those currently opposed into neat groups, or is it hugely optimistic that the antagonism to water charges can be pushed back?

Though perhaps the intention – for some – is a lot more short-term…

The deal on water, which would see Irish Water’s debts remain on the State’s balance sheet, clears the way for a broader arrangement between the parties to facilitate the operation of a minority government.

But still… any thoughts on how this will play further afield?

Comments»

1. sonofstan - April 21, 2016

two cheers and all that….but a conversion to a public utility is good. A referendum to keep it that way would be even better.

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gendjinn - April 21, 2016

You were right! They managed to both balls it up.

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sonofstan - April 21, 2016

It’s like they both had one election win in them (assuming MM ‘won’ the election) – after that, they got nothing.

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gendjinn - April 21, 2016

Not impressed with FF’s politicking, not very impressive at all.

Be interesting to see the rest of the economic/welfare numbers to see if they had to concede there for this water fudge.

What inquiries are reporting in the next year or two that FF can use as an excuse for collapsing things?

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2. irishelectionliterature - April 21, 2016

It sounds like what we thought it would initially be. A decent free allowance and then those that used a crazy amount of water penalised.
It’s a fudge though in that it’s only for a few years and then they start charging.
Coming into public ownership is good.
Labour must be sick that FG caved in to FF on it.
Brendan Ogle was half right🙂

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gendjinn - April 21, 2016

Metering to catch leaks and excessive use is a good idea. Thing is the EU is pushing to privitise all utilities so those that profit can continue to do so. Telecom Eireann asset stripping grotesquery is exactly what’s planned for any Irish water board.

So the only way to defeat them is to defeat metering. Which is unfortunate but it’s better than the alternative.

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3. fergal - April 21, 2016

The devil is in the detail and all that but isn’t it a tribute to all those souls who have been protesting, not paying, marching, blocking, etc that if they hadn’t this would have sailed through, if they hadn’t the next government wouldn’t be discussing it, if they hadn’t it would be so high up the political agenda
There is of course a lesson in this for all of us- optimists and cynics

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WorldbyStorm - April 21, 2016

Very much so. This is a genuine win and shows how concerned the political class have been even if only in regard to the electoral fallout. The fact a good fifty per cent haven’t paid is telling.

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4. lcox - April 22, 2016

Definitely at least half a win. They are in part concerned to demobilise the water charges movement (which imho will prove easier said than done – if the campaign winds down many people who have become mobilised will get stuck into other austerity issues) and in part aiming to do so by defusing the political end of the issue (caving in on privatisation but presumably ploughing ahead with metering).

With FG operating the show (unless there are informal conversations on this) I presume we will see continued meter installation and a renewed attempt to force retrospective payment from large numbers of people – though perhaps some realism in how that is handled. A wiser government would long-finger the whole thing but clearly FG need their pound of flesh in this respect.

I would say the real question is how this plays out on the ground – whether communities feel “we won that” and how they respond to continued metering and retrospective bills. I would guess there will be at least some ongoing resistance to both, but on what scale is probably the real question.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - April 22, 2016

+1

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