Tuesday 21 November 2017

'Water is the new oil' and must not be privatised or families will suffer: TD

Stock picture
Stock picture

Kathy Armstrong

Water is the new oil and if it's privatised ordinary families could find their supply cut off, Deputy Joan Collins has claimed.

The Independent 4 Change TD also said that if Irish Water had been established during the economic crash the Troika would have demanded our supply was privatised.

Ms Collins is behind a bill that will be discussed by The Housing Committee today calling for a referendum on public ownership or our water services and that will ensure the Government will maintain it at a certain standard.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Collins said: "Water is a human right, the United Nations in 2010 voted that it's a human right, without water you won't survive, for other things you can find alternatives but not water.

"The history of privatisation of water in other countries has meant that many families have fell into water poverty and they've had their water cut off because they couldn't pay, in places like Spain and Italy and other places.

"We think that when you look particularly at what happened during the collapse of the economy when the Troika came in, if Irish Water had been set up in 2012 we've no doubt the Troika would have insisted that our water would have been privatised.

"ESB is different, it's been semi-state body for a number of years, water is different, it's the new oil as far as private companies are concerned because there's that demand for water."

Read More: Water charges must be refunded now - or else the Government will risk an outpouring of public anger

Joan Collins TD Photo: Tom Burke
Joan Collins TD Photo: Tom Burke

She continued to say she believes  that the right to water is going to become an even more critical issue "20 or 25 years down the line."

She said: "It's going to become even more essential going into the future and could become very scarce, that's what we believe anyway.

"We believe that on the issue of human right to water it's critical that it's put into the constitution and also that the Government sign up to a level of maintenance and management of our water."

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