Monday 11 December 2017

Classic 'fudge' on water charges shows we're on slippery slope back to madness of boom

Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

The most contentious issue in Irish politics over the past four years has been parked. The draft report of the Expert Commission suggests that water charges as we knew them are gone but a tax down the line may be necessary.

What we have is the classic Irish solution to an Irish problem - the fudge. 'No, of course we're not getting rid of water charges - that would be a breach of EU directives - it's just that the State, as the customer, will now pay the charges'.

Individuals will have to pay only if they engage in "wasteful usage". It has yet to be determined what the definition of normal usage will be. But given the lack of backbone shown by the powers-that-be on this issue over the past few years, it's a fair bet that anything shy of having a swimming pool in your garden will qualify. 'Please feel free, sir, to run your tap all night in the event of a heavy frost. It would be an infringement of your civil rights not to allow you to do so.'

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