Fair water charges would stop outpouring of anger
The current Dail will not legislate for water charges, but a future Dail will have to address the issue, writes Colm McCarthy
The report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services was released on Wednesday last. The report declines, up front and openly, to outline any plan for the future financing of the water industry, which is what the committee was asked to do.
Instead the operating shortfall of the water industry and the enormous capital bill for rehabilitation of the system are both to be financed from something called 'general taxation', a bountiful treasure chest nestling undiscovered in the basement of the Department of Finance.
This secret stash contains nothing as boring as ordinary money, which can only be spent once, but is a magic and inexhaustible currency made of premium elastic and capable of postponing political choices forever.