Tuesday 27 September 2016

There is a definite agenda of privatisation of our water charges - TD Paul Murphy

Published 08/04/2015 | 11:14

Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy

TD Paul Murphy has said that the government is starting a process that will end in the privatisation of Irish Water.

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“[The Coalition] is first looking at the water charges and then they are looking at privatisation,” he said on the Pat Kenny Show this morning.

“The first step is making water charges a commodity. They are willing to privatise anything they possibly can.”

His comments on the Newstalk radio show were questioned by Pat Kenny who asked for “evidence” of “where this was written down”.

Mr Murphy said that he did “not accept that this government were hesitant to privatise.”

“They are breaking their election promises. They say whatever can get them votes and then they do whatever they want,” he said.

“It won’t privatise water charges in full until after the election. There is a definite agenda of privatisation of our water charges.”

The Socialist TD compared the Irish water model to that in the UK which has “a similar model of water usage”.

“In the UK the charges have gone up and the investment funds have decreased.”

Read more: Irish Water starts sending bills to 1.5 million customers

Mr Kenny asked Mr Murphy if he believed that all private companies should be abolished and everyone should be employed by the State.

The Socialist TD said that a “sustainable model for our community” needs to be built and that “people’s needs as a whole come before the needs of a few.”

“The State should be providing decent clean water for people,” he said.

Mr Murphy said consumers in households across the country “should be paying these charges through progressive central taxation, not pay per use”.

“It’s not right if you were to pay an indirect tax. That means if you are wealthy you pay exactly the same as someone who is less wealthy,” he said.

“We don’t think that water should be a commodity”.

Irish Water confirmed yesterday that it has started to post bills out to more than 1.5 million customers.

Charges for the first bill will be €40 (or less) for a single adult household and €65 (or less) for a two adult household. Some households with a meter can beat this cap and pay even less, it said.

It called on customers to register with Irish Water before 30th June to ensure they are eligible to apply for the Government’s Water Conservation Grant, which will be available in September from the Department of Social Protection.

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