Sunday 21 July 2019

Many have already paid for water for years

THE frustration of the nation was evident from the thousands that took to the streets over the weekend to protest against water charges.

There has been a lot of talk about the charges, the validity of them, whether or not they are necessary or fair but one thing almost everyone agrees on is that they are the straw that has broken the camel's back.

There will always be opposition to the introduction of any new bill and many still seem adamant that they will not pay for their water.

I think however that we should pay for any service that we receive, as long as that service is up to scratch and fit for purpose.

The outcry against the charges has been phenomenal as well as about aspects of how they have been introduced as well as concern about future privatisation of Irish Water and the security of social security data.

Taking all the operational issues out of the equation many people seem to be happy to ignore the fact that vast numbers of Irish residents have already been paying for their own services for years. Those included in private development groups schemes are subject to annual fees for water and sewage and will continue to be.

Private septic tanks don't empty and sanitise themselves-the owners have to pay for this.

There are no allowances or tax breaks here. People keep paying because they need the service.

A big problem for many is the concern about having the funds to cover another bill on top of everything that has been imposed on us already, the USC and Property Tax among others. If household budgets weren't already squeezed so tightly there might not be the same level of worry about water charges.

They have come at a time when people have had enough and that is why the level of opposition to the charges is so high.

If the government truly wants to help the people of this country who took the austerity medicine for so many years in order to get us all back on track, paid their taxes and shouldered the burden, then they should take a serious look at the real bills that are the problem.

A couple of hundred Euro in water charges would be tolerable if there was more relief in the bigger bills such as income tax and the USC.

New Ross Standard