EuroStat Test: A victory for anti-water charge campaigners, government now in crisis
· Boycott is sinking Irish Water, mass movement forced concession from government
· Increased Boycott of 2nd Irish Water Bill can be the final nail in its and FG/Lab coffin
Irish Water is going to fail the Eurostat test and therefore it will be part of the state’s balance sheet, meaning that a central part of their plan for the utility company is in ruins. This is another disaster for the government and it is a direct result of the massive boycott of the first bill and the pressure which the anti-water charges campaign has exerted forcing u-turns and climb downs.
The key issue for Irish Water and the government is that there is a mass boycott taking place across the country. Despite many in the media trying to say that the water charges movement is at low ebb, it’s really at a height. 57% of people are engaged in the campaign through having refused to pay the first bill, this is a mass boycott. The boycott is sinking Irish Water and strangling its income source. The boycott is the key weapon which will finish off Irish Water.
This is now a major political crisis for the government. It is another humiliating defeat for their plan for water charges and Irish Water. They have been met with opposition at every step and now they have failed the Eurostat test which was a key part of their financial plan to keep it off balance sheet.
The majority aren’t paying and Eurostat thinks their “off balance sheet” model is a sham. If he had any shame, Alan Kelly would immediately resign. The government should now accept defeat, withdraw the water charges, abolish Irish Water and prepare for some actual investment in the water infrastructure.
For anti-water charges campaigners the key thing which we have to do now is to continue to organise for the second Irish Water bill which will be arriving through people’s doors shortly. The boycott is the key weapon we have now. If the level of the boycott for the second bill increases it will be the final nail in the coffin of the Irish Water and the Fine Gael/Labour government.
On August 29th people should mobilise for the Right2Water protest which can be a mass wake for Irish Water.