The price of water

 

Sir, – If the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services is to live up to its name, its proposal must give explicit examples of what it will cost to fund the necessary development and operation of the water services, as well as full refund of all water bills already paid, without any cuts or theoretical savings in other government expenditure or increase in the already excessive national debt. This costing must be in terms of explicit increases in taxes. One of those examples must clearly state all water services expenditure in terms of an increase in VAT and the consequent additional costs in euro of a typical family’s annual cost of living,

Responsible citizens would have to regard any proposal that fails to give such explicit cost examples as totally dishonest and damaging to our democracy. – Yours, etc,

LIAM MULLIGAN,

Rathmines,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – As the lamentable shenanigans about water charges continue to trip up our politicians in Leinster House, the pleadings of the earnest Eoin Ó Broin TD, of Sinn Féin, deserve special attention. He argues that we don’t need water meters or charges for excess usage, because the Irish people are not at all wasteful. To follow this logic, perhaps we should abolish the Revenue Commissioners, given what compliant taxpayers we all are! – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN O’BYRNES,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – I am not given to depression but struggle to fend off a sense of despair at the antics of the Oireachtas water charges committee.

It is a shame that the tussle for political advantage is not moved aside on this vital issue in favour of what is right for Ireland. Hypocrisy and cynical manoeuvring abound as each of the several groups fight not for their country, but for themselves.

In terms of the potential refunds, my suggestion is that those who paid their water charges, as I did, are given the option of donating the refund to a charitable organisation such as the Simon Community, so that some good can emerge from this sorry tale.

It might also set an example to those aspiring to lead this nation. – Yours, etc,

GEOFF SCARGILL,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.