Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Water charges - some political slight of hand

I blogged about water charges a little while back. I don't think they make sense in the form of water metering in Ireland.

Now those Red-Green (does that make purple?) political advocates for around 2% of the electorate are proposing a flat rate household water charge. All my points about water as a scarce resource in Ireland still apply. Little reason to set the marginal price of water above zero.

What I want to highlight here is this bit:
"Charging for water in every house was agreed by the government parties, at the Greens' behest, as a way to reduce waste and fund local government."
Do these people really think the electorate are that stupid that they think they are presently getting water for "free"?

This is ludicrous beyond belief. The overwhelming majority of houses in Ireland have mains water. This makes a flat rate household charge a type of "poll tax" - although levied per household rather than per head.

It is also coming on top of the tax paid that presently funds water catchment, storage, distribution, treatment and maintenance. This is more tax on top of the tax that currently goes towards paying for our mains water.

Is a little bit of honesty too much to ask. Even if you are purple?

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