Politics and the price of water


Sir, – Now that it has been decided that we should not take individual responsibility for the water we use, can I make a suggestion for some enterprising politician with an eye on the next election? Since one utility, water, has been taken off the agenda for individual or household payment, why not extend that to other utilities? I have no doubt that many people would be delighted to hear that gas and electricity could also be removed from individual or household payment. It would be quite a coup for a political candidate.

Mind you, we would probably end up with the highest income tax rate in Europe, but we could tell ourselves that at least we were not paying for utilities. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.

Sir, – Stephen Collins’s “Water charges debacle shows failure of new politics” (Opinion & Analysis, April 6th) includes all the usual words that betray any suggestion that there is an attempt at objective analysis at work – “hard left”, “Trotskyists”, etc. The notion that there are sufficient “left-wing” members of the Dáil to impact on Government policy flies in the face of the facts that point to the gross, and growing, inequity in our society. The homeless problem would simply not be tolerated in any society being governed by a caring, inclusive “left” ideology. That aside, perhaps your columnist might come back and explain exactly from where he thinks this current Government could claim to have got a mandate to introduce water charges. I won’t hold my breath. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – The decision by Fianna Fáil to resile from an agreement to install water meters in new housing developments is an act of populist political vandalism.

It sends the clearest signal possible to Brussels that a major political party, which hopes to lead the next government, doesn’t give a damn about EU water directives.

The consequence of this two-fingered message is likely to be the imposition of maximum penalties for non-compliance on Ireland. We will end up paying for water, on the double.

It will certainly do nothing to endear us to our EU partners at a time when Brexit places such goodwill at a premium. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.