The government statement that householders would have to pay for the installation of water meters to their own homes is outrageous.
The idea that householders would have to pay hundreds of euros for a meter which would then lead them to be charged hundreds of euros more each year for an essential resource really shows how removed this government has become.
Paying for water meters and water would tip many families into poverty after four years of austerity. Profiteering from water has been disastrous worldwide and would cause further social inequality.
The way to deal with conserving water is not through meters but through putting thousands of people back to work in repairing and replacing the national pipe network to tackle the 40- 50% unaccounted for leakage rate nationally.
Water consumption in Dublin for example is virtually identical to that of useage in Scotland and England where charges and privatisation have applied for years. Meters have not been shown to reduce useage in the long term.
Thousands of engineers, plumbers and technicans could be taken off the dole queues if the investment was made in upgrading the water network. Local authorities which have reduced their unaccounted for water rate to 25% – the lowest rate -have done so with this type of investment. Dual flush toilets would further reduce water use.
The CAHWT will campaign with communities to resist and boycott water taxes. The 50% boycott of the household tax — despite intimidation — shows how ordinary people have reached tipping point and will resist imposition of water charges.