Irish Water – a red-line issue?

 

Sir, – I was under the clearly mistaken assumption that I was voting in a general election and not, as it seems to have turned out, on a referendum on water charges.

My concern is that if such charges were abolished, then those currently paying other onerous taxes, such as the universal social charge, might end up carrying the can! – Yours, etc,

JOHN HUGGARD,

Moyvalley,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – On what rational basis can the Taoiseach say that a national water authority is a fundamental issue? The vast majority of our water systems exist at a sub-county level. For the most part, it is basic civil engineering, not nuclear power. We have the Environmental Protection Agency to oversee water quality and waste water disposal. The Water Services Act of 2007 modernised our water laws following a strategic review of our water systems and water needs. It provided for inter-county development of the handful of larger schemes needed. What is objectionable to reverting to the 2007 model? – Yours, etc,

CORMAC

Ó DÚLACHÁIN, SC

Dublin 7.

Sir, – The far-left parties have played a blinder in identifying water charges as a popular issue to undermine the mainstream parties, and Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil have completely fallen for it. But a tactic is all it is. Who believes that it is more important than health services or housing? The exit polls showed that.

The €1 billion, or €7 billion, that would be spent on doing away with Irish Water could end the housing crisis and that is an issue of real importance, and not only to the left.

Water charges must not be allowed to remain as a red-line issue to stymie the formation of a new government. A little imagination would find an agreed position that would save face and allow us to move on. Ring-fencing the utility as a public entity solves one of the major problems. And remember that there is a significant minority that actually supports the principle of water charges. – Yours, etc,

LUCILLE ELLIS,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – My understanding is that we would not have needed Irish Water if local authorities were not starved of funds and manpower to do the work themselves. They had the staff and the expertise and, most of all, the local knowledge. – Yours, etc,

ALEC QUINN,

Limerick.

Sir, – As one of the hundreds of thousands of responsible citizens who have paid our reasonable water charges, I would feel betrayed and quietly outraged should Irish Water and water charges be abolished in negotiations to form a new government. This would also be representative of the feelings of the majority of the 60 per cent of responsible and compliant customers who have paid the charges to date. The case of the thousands of members of private water schemes throughout the country who pay for their water services should also be recognised.

Is mob rule to be rewarded and anarchy to triumph? – Yours, etc,

LIAM MORRISON,

Ballsbridge,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – U-bend? – Yours, etc,

CLARE BALFE,

Dublin 7.