Who pays for free water, free travel?


Sir, – I look forward to availing of free travel on public transport in Ireland in 10 years time. I also look forward to free water (which is looking likely). I don’t look forward to a government that doesn’t know how to pay for free travel and free water.

Reminder. The way a government pays for free services such as health care, policing, education, free travel and water is to tax the people and the corporations. Once taxes are decided, the politicians can squabble about how the exchequer pie is sliced.

No company can run its business if a section of its customers always pays below the market rate (which happens in the case of the Government’s subsidy for free travellers). It will have to charge the regular paying customers more, or go bust. It then becomes a tax, with the people aged over 66 being subsidised by the under-66s. In the case of “free” water and waste collection, with the State as the only client, it is incumbent on the Government to raise tax to pay for it. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Ireland, wake up. You cannot have free water and free travel unless you pay for it out of tax. Will those politicians in favour of abandoning water charges propose the introduction of a water tax? Will the Minister for Transport introduce a transport tax to pay for free travel? I doubt it. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.