Mixing water and politics

 

Sir , – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have got themselves into a position where they must rely on Alan Kelly to expose their cowardice (“Suspension of water charges could be illegal, says Minister”, April 27th). Well done, Mr Kelly. – Yours, etc,

BERNARD LYNCH,

Malahide,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Here we go again – Fianna Fáil eroding the tax base and promising the world. Roll on the next election. – Yours, etc,

AILBHE MURRAY,

Cabinteely,

Dublin 18.

Sir, – So, after all the deliberations, we are going to appoint a commission to ask, “It works in practice, but will it work in theory?” God help us. – Yours, etc,

MARCELLA FINNEGAN,

Greystones,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – In 1977, shortly after I had acquired my first house, the then Fianna Fáil government obligingly abolished domestic rates.

In 1995 when my two children were heading for university, the then coalition government kindly abolished university fees.

Now that I am a pensioner with a large and thirsty back garden, it seems that the new government is about to abolish water charges.

To my fellow taxpayers, I would just like to say a heartfelt “thank you”. – Yours, etc,

FRANK BANNISTER

Dublin 4.

Sir, – If water continues to dominate our politics, it will be increasingly difficult to distinguish between “that shower” and “the other shower”. – Yours, etc,

DENIS BERGIN,

Tavira,

Portugal.

A chara, – Wednesday’s letters’ page was once again populated with the usual suspects and their attempts at humour, their nonsensical comparison of Sinn Féin’s position on this issue with Fianna Fáil’s, their inaccurate financial analysis and their misrepresentation of reality.

Personally, what I am sick of is the continued mantra directed against those “who wish to pay for nothing”. For the avoidance of doubt, I have paid PAYE tax as required by the State all my working life and, as I seem to recall, a certain amount of that tax went to pay for the provision of clean and safe drinking water, which, in case people have forgotten, we have always paid for. I won’t raise the hoary issue of historic increases in VAT and road tax and the promises made!

It was certainly not my fault that for decades successive governments failed to invest in repairing water mains or improving any of the systems required for a modern water network.

Might I suggest that if we need some more money to fix these problems now, then the government could start closing the loopholes that allow the “wealth creators” and “entrepreneurs” of Ireland to ship billions of their tax liabilities overseas into hidden bank accounts every year?

My favourite item among the bunkum spouted was the commendation of “the troika-induced good governance” bought to these shores.

That would be the vicious, unfair, unsustainable, anti-working class “austerity” measures imposed by an unelected cabal of bankers, big business and their lackeys, including the creation of the disastrous “for profit” private company that is Irish Water. – Is mise,

NICK McCALL,

Drumkeeran,

Co Leitrim.

A chara, – So Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank decided last week not to employ “helicopter money”. Clearly, there’s no consensus yet on this direct injection of cash into the flagging European economy. Shame, really. A cursory glance at poster boy Ireland would surely have shown Mr Draghi that sending €100 cheques to 40 per cent of households (non-payers) has been an ingenious boost. Perhaps this has in fact propelled us to 9.2 per cent GDP growth in the last quarter and 7.8 per cent in the last year! – Is mise,

SEAN CRAIG

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – An independent water commission? Is the “Great Irish Fudge” now being served up with mugs of Irish Water? This traditional political confection contains generous amounts of common and exotic nuts. It looks inviting, tastes sweet at first, but has a sticky consistency, a bitter aftertaste and inevitably costs more than the initial price tag suggests. Regularly repackaged to appeal to the whimsy of its target market, its familiar scent wafts once again from Ireland’s “can’t stand the heat” political kitchens. As any time-pressed chef knows, serving up a tried and tested favourite, when all that’s left on the menu are old chestnuts and red herrings, guarantees at least some measure of reprieve in the last-chance saloon. – Yours, etc,

PATRICIA MULKEEN,

Ballinfull,

Co Sligo.

Sir, – The issue of water charges has changed the whole complexion of the political agenda over the last few months and is very worrying. Some political parties and groupings have thrown out the basic principles of politics and followed an agenda that has meant that far more pressing and urgent areas of policy, such as the homeless and the housing crisis, have been ignored. I therefore believe another general election needs to be held as I, for one, did not vote for this great little country of ours to be so politically debased. – Yours, etc,

PAUL KEENAN,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Now that the anti-water opportunists have had their way, I’m thinking of putting together a new party whose main electoral platform will be the abolition of all taxes, starting with income tax. I just know it will be a winner. Anybody interested? – Yours, etc,

LOUIS HOGAN,

Wicklow.