Debt collection legislation related to fines rather than water charges
No fines or attachment orders until after General Election- boycott can force abolition
Landlords opposed to becoming debt collectors for Irish Water
The Anti-Austerity Alliance has responded to media reports about new legislation in relation to debt collection:
Paul Murphy TD said “This proposed legislation is not the game changer in relation to water charges that the government think it is. This legislation appears to only apply to the fines related to water charges not the charges itself.
“This means that people can safely continue to boycott the water charges as no fines are applied until after the 4th bill in 2016. By this stage a general election will have taken place and faced with a mass boycott any new government will be put under massive pressure to abolish the charge before any of this legislation comes into effect.
“This is not the property tax, Revenue are not involved, attachment orders would still have to be obtained. This shows that the boycott campaign is winning and that the government are feeling massive pressure because of it.”
Councillor Mick Barry said: “The government are on the back foot – they cannot cut off your water, they cannot jail people and Revenue are not involved to steal it from people’s wages or welfare.
“They have previously floated this idea about landlords deducting water charges from people’s deposits but have met huge opposition from landlords. They don’t want to act as debt collectors for Irish Water. They will have major problems if they go down this route.”
Councillor Michael O Brien said “That the government have been forced to go down this route shows that they are aware of the massive strenght of the boycott. The boycott will defeat this charge. A mass boycott at the general election will force any government elected from it to abolish the charge. The anti-water charges movement should continue to organise the boycott campaign in communities across the country to put the maximum pressure on this Fine Gael and Labour government.”