When I arrived back from my lecture this afternoon a big (literally) surprise awaited me. Blocking my front door and digging a huge hole in the pavement was a digger, big metal teeth grinding down into concrete making a racket. The reason for this disturbance is the installation of water-meters on our road.
For a few years now there has been a big debate on how Ireland is handling water charges. Some international press has gotten it so wrong by claiming Irish people don’t pay for their water, but we do through taxes directly deducted from our salaries.
Last year the Irish Government decided it was now tome to privatise water and a money gobbling private company called Irish Water was formed. Since then this new private company has spent millions on private consultants, demanded private, secure data from citizens, going so far as to nearly blackmail people into submitting this data, unlawfully cut of water and damaged private property. And Irish Water will be charging the population for it’s use of water, but the tax will still stand – in effect making everyone pay twice.
The Irish population hasn’t been happy about this and for months demonstration have brought tens of thousands to the streets nearly every week-end. The Government has been ignoring this, going about it’s business as if there where no issues. However last week it became public knowledge that the Irish taxpayers have already been paying twice for the ‘privilege’ of turning on the tap or flushing the toilet as two thirds of the money diverted to create and set up Irish water came from motor tax.
This means that in addition to the already double taxation people living in Ireland will now pay a third fee, this time directly to water Ireland. So it is no real wonder that a lot of people are really annoyed.
But for now my main concern is the outside disturbance created by Water Ireland on my doorstep, after all I will need to leave my home in a few minutes!