In what has become a familiar sight around Ireland for the past few months, Irish Water have just dug up the path outside our house to install a water meter. In our middle class area there is no sign of protest. I went out to have a look and chat to the lads doing the work. It was explained to me clearly what was happening, by what I have to say was a very mannerly lad from the North. I let then into my garden to get some water. In many ways I feel some sympathy for the lads doing the work - they haven't had it easy in some areas where residents feel a genuine resistance to the idea of metering water.
Water is a precious resource, but we are not short of it in Ireland. Just stand at the mouth of the Liffey, Slaney, or the Shannon rivers and you'll see millions of litres of water flowing into the sea every day, We don't need to conserve what Nature dumps on us on a regular basis from the sky. Of course we do need to conserve treated water and that's where the problem is. We all object to leaks and waste, we all want our sewage to be treated, we all accept that treated water is not free. But water taxes are here to stay and there is nothing we can do about it.
My main problem with water tax is how this has been implemented. In years to come this will be a case-study for students to learn how not to do things. The shambles over fixed vs metered charges, PPS numbers, and the reaction to protests makes me wonder if there is a hidden Department of Cockups in Government whose job it is to make a mess. We all paid for water in the past anyway through tax which I feel is the fairest way to do this. Those who are unemployed or cannot pay paid less tax than those who could afford it. Forcing everyone to pay the same is ridiculous. To some people the €260 charge per year is the price of a case of nice wine, for others it is more than their entire weekly income. "Fairness" is not a word that the Dept of Cockups thinks about - instead they plan to be unfair, divisive, and weak. With an election coming next year, politicians are more concerned about their seats than the people.
Irish Water - welcome to our road.
Advance warning to politicians - when you are canvassing in the next election, do not knock on my door.