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Water.. Will always be with us! April 10, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Or the issue will be if this quote from an unnamed  FG source in the IT is to be believed…

“What is needed is a charging system for people who will use excessive water. The EU Commission would like more houses to have meters.

“We have a defensible position if we agree. We need to get back there and take some of the heat and personal insults out of the debate.”

What’s amazing to me is the inability of FG ( and some in other parties ) to back away from an issue which is seriously damaging them. Their poll ratings alone suggest there is no appetite for their approach, no broader support, whatever the rhetoric emanating from some. But there’s a fetishistic aspect to this. Curious.

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1. Jolly Red Giant - April 10, 2017

This is going to be further demonstrated by the trial of the Jobstown defendants – particularly as this trial (unlike the recent trial of the teenager) will be held in full public view.

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2. Paddy Healy - April 10, 2017

The reason that FG want a CHARGE for excessive use of water is that any payment for water to a provider such as Irish Water would make water a tradeable commodity under EU Law. It would make water a “service of general economic interest” (like electricity) rather than a “service of general iterest”(like primary education). After the initial retreat, this would allow this or future governments to phase water charges back in. A FINE/Penalty for WILFUL WASTE not payable to a water provider wold not have this effect.
This is also the reason that Seamus Healy (successfully) insisted that the phrase “the state shall be a customer of the water utility” be removed from the draft recommendations. the EXPERT COMMISSION had come p with this wheeze! This would also commodify water even if the state were the only “customer”!!!!
FG,Lab, Greens will almost certainly try to put these things back in to law at the legislative stage
O what a tangled web . . .. . .

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3. Aengus Millen - April 10, 2017

Water is a very serious issue and I hope it is dealt with but I can’t help hoping that each of these successive crisis bring down this government. Anything would be better I’ve gotten to the point where I hope for a FG-FF coalition so that at least you would have a functioning government and a recognized SF opposition. Till then we have to deal with constant backbighting on issues like this between FG and FF and then the quiet stitch-up agreed late at night.

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2017

Yeah, that’s something I think makes sense re a clear FF/FG lash up making a definitive break with the past and showing the reality

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irishelectionliterature - April 10, 2017

I think it all hinges on FF being the larger party after an election. The Confidence and supply arrangement was to stop FF having to go into coalition with FG (Something that they couldn’t sell to the membership) and also to try and stop the rise of SF.
Post the next election if the only numbers are FF with support from FG then I hope FG push for coalition with FF rather than the likes of the current agreement. FF could hardly refuse or face the option of going in with SF (which I don’t think SF are ready for yet, especially with a new leadership in place). or indeed another election.

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Aengus Millen - April 10, 2017

I agree FF might be more willing as the larger party. You can see how all their actions are dependent on worries about the next election. The interesting thing about the water controversy is that FF has their back against the wall on this while FG doesn’t because its lost all the voters on this it’s going to. EO’broin is right to say that they’ll be a backlash if they are seen to give in to FG. Which is why I think this may not be cleared up as easily as the papers seem to think this morning.

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irishelectionliterature - April 10, 2017

It has also got personal with many in FF deeply insulted about a Social Media post Alan Farrell did against The Cowen family.

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2017

I heard evensome FGers thoiuggt that went way too far. There’s a real feeling he has fixed on comments on matters various…

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4. ivorthorne - April 10, 2017

Internal politics seems to drive FG’s approach. Their membership doesn’t like the fact that they’ve been humiliated on the issue and the would-be leaders want to be seen as “strong” on the issue.

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5. sonofstan - April 10, 2017

strangely, maybe, this is one of the few things about Ireland that has penetrated ordinary discourse here, in a ‘mad paddies, don’t want to pay for water – you’ve gotta pay for water’ sort of way, since it seems entirely right and proper that you pay hundreds of pounds a year for crap service from Thames Water so they can reward their shareholders all over the world. No one seems to remember that it was once a public utility here aso.

Anyway, I suspect, in EC’s immortal phrase, there’s a bit of the ‘apologising to the invisible Englishman’ about the FG position -‘what must they think of us?’

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WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2017

That’s depressing re the ‘mad paddies’ stuff. Yes, rings v true re FG attitude.

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sonofstan - April 10, 2017

there’s not much point in explaining.

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6. Alibaba - April 11, 2017

Some thoughts come to mind when considering why FG didn’t ‘back away from an issue which is seriously damaging them’.

I agree with Paddy’s view on the FG plan to ‘commodify water’ and seek to get charges for it. That’s the FG leaning, largely because it reflects the views of its voters who think it’s the thing to do.

Aengus makes a valid point in saying: ‘The interesting thing about the water controversy is that FF has their back against the wall on this while FG doesn’t because its lost all the voters on this it’s going to’.

I believe there could be a ‘backlash’, but it will cut both ways. FG voters won’t tolerate seeing its party genuflect to FF and maybe bringing on a who-knows-what-future for both of them, most certainly this side of a general election.

FF might huff and puff, but it will accept the principle of payments for so-called excessive use of water. Never mind, how the hell this can be calculated in the absence of data on individual household usage.

I think FF will abstain in any vote on the water legislation Obviously it’s also a possibility that the controversy could be kicked down the road again, say, FF awaiting the view of the Attorney General and not going against that eventually.

Meanwhile FF will seek to bring down the government on any other issue of convenience in due course. I don’t want FF and FG coming together, although I can see the temptation to view it that way. This would be the bloc of the most conservative and powerful parties in the Dáil and a serious setback for the left.

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7. Paddy Healy - July 17, 2017

Anti-Water Charge Campaigners Secured Repayment of Charges to Those who Paid-and Householders Can Keep 100 Euro “Conservation Grant” as Well EVEN IF YOU DID NOT PAY CHARGES!!!
More than 190,000 people claimed the grant but did not pay any of the five bills distributed by the water utility!!!!
Extract from Times Article http://wp.me/pKzXa-nC
Government Descends into Low Farce!
Alan Kelly had assured EU that 100euro Grant had nothing to do with Charges in order to Retain Commercial Consumer must Pay “off Books” Status of Irish Water
Households set to keep €100 water Grant and get Refunds-Irish Times To-Day

EXTRACT FROM Irish Times ARTICLE-Kitty Holland

“The €100 grant was introduced in 2015 in what some described as an attempt to entice people to sign up to the billing system. The then government insisted it aimed to encourage more considered use of water.
Both Mr Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney have previously said they believe the €100 should be deducted from any repayment to those who paid their Irish Water bills.
However, it is understood the Department of Housing has been advised of potential difficulties in this regard due to assurances given to the European Commission that the grant and the charges were not associated.
More than 190,000 people claimed the grant but did not pay any of the five bills distributed by the water utility.”—Irish Times 17/07/2016

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