The price of water

 

Sir, – I have no objection in principle to paying separately for the water that I use. It makes sense in terms of broadening the tax base and in terms of conserving a vital commodity. But since we are already paying for the provision of water from general taxation, where is the consequential and corresponding reduction in general taxes that should make up for us having to pay this charge?

Indeed, as the citizens of this country will be forced for the first time to conserve water, the saving from general taxation should surely be greater than the new water charge. Why are we not being promised by the Government that we will be in fact be better off by a saving in income tax or some other tax? Could it be that there will in fact be no saving from general taxation for the citizen? Could it be that we will now be paying for water on the double and that this is just a tax on top of an existing tax?

No wonder the people have roared! – Yours, etc,

CIARAN O’KELLY,

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Sir, – Water is the new oil. Mega-banks such as Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup and JP Morgan are buying up water resources, engineering infrastructure and water rights worldwide. They know that, as water becomes more scarce with climate change and population growth, there are vast profits to be made. In addition, the lucrative potential of “big data” means that Irish Water, as an asset, is far more valuable with PPS numbers attached than without. Not just water, but our very identities are being commercialised without our consent.

The privatisation of water transgresses all notions of natural justice and threatens ordinary citizens with withdrawal of a life-giving resource that nobody should ever have to live in fear of losing. Privatisation of public services has repeatedly been shown to have disastrous consequences, in terms of quality of service, workers’ rights and value for money.

Any country where access to the basic prerequisites of life can only be guaranteed to the wealthy is a failed society. We elect our politicians to run the country on our behalf, to distribute resources and to ensure a minimum acceptable standard of living for all citizens. In the perennial battle between ordinary citizens and the profit-seeking corporations that seek to dominate and exploit us, we pay our politicians so we can be sure they are on our side? Are they? – Yours, etc,

MAEVE HALPIN,

Ranelagh, Dublin 6.