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Unfounded? December 11, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Noel Whelan touched on water a week or so ago and the Report of the Expert Commission. He’s pretty scathing, and yet, I find the following somewhat unconvincing:

On another issue, the experts conclude that “there was no evidence available that any party is in favour of privatisation of Irish Water now or in the future”. It even states that, even though unfounded concerns about privatisation “contributed to the creation of a climate of uncertainty and mistrust and represents a barrier to making progress”.
So, “as part of a process of settling the water issue”, the experts recommend what in effect would be a reassurance referendum to amend the Constitution to prohibit the privatisation of water supply.
They don’t address the complexities of drafting such a referendum. They merely say that “the adoption of a suitable constitutional provision on public ownership of water services be more fully addressed by the Special Oireachtas Committee, as part of its deliberations”.

Having seen the privatisation of waste collection services in the last twenty years I find it hard to understand why the potential privatisation of water services is ‘unfounded’. Some of those parties who say they are against the privatisation of water services are the very same as those who oversaw the privatisation of waste collection.


1. dublinstreams - December 11, 2016

John fitzgerald had a similar column this week http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/be-wary-of-constitutional-ban-on-water-network-privatisation-1.2897972 he focuses the idea of securing the “water network” instead of water itself.

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RosencrantzisDead - December 11, 2016

Both columns are weak. Whelan’s complaint is that an amendment to the Constitution preventing privatisation of water might be legally and technically ‘difficult’. So is imposing a charge, but he does not have the same reservations about that.

Fitzgerald does not fare any better. He makes reference to the problems that banning something in the Constitution has brought. I presume he means the 8th amendment, but that amendment does not actually ban anything. Instead, it states that the right to life of the unborn shall be vindicated by the laws of the state as far as is practicable. although, it would not be the first time an economist or a columnists talked nonsense about Irish law.


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