Irish Water is about profit, not service to the public says Emrich

Irish Water will eventually be privatised and a basic and essential element will be taken over by private bodies to be “turned into liquid gold profits”.

This is the view of Kiran Emrich, the People Before Profit Alliance Galway City Central candidate, who has raised numerous concerns about the highly controversial body Irish Water.

Mr Emrich said the Government’s main intention with Irish Water has less to do with water conservation and job creation, but more to do with privatisation and profit making.

“Multinational corporations are fighting to gain control of this vital resource, water, to turn it into liquid gold profits,” he said. “The only reason Irish Water is not being fully privatised now, is the Government’s fear of public outrage that water would be taken over by private bodies to make private profits. Full privatisation is undoubtedly the intention.”

To underline his point, Mr Emrich highlighted how studies carried out abroad show that metering does, at first, cause people to use less water, but that consumption gradually returns to previous levels.

“The Government knows this and it has been announced that if water usage falls low enough to affect profits, charges to householders will be raised,” he said.

He also pointed out that in the current difficult economic climate it is unreasonable to assume that people already living on or below the poverty line find an extra €300+ a year to pay for the charges.

Mr Emrich is further concerned that payments to Irish Water have more to do with lining the pockets of staff that providing value for money to the taxpayer.

“Twenty employees of Irish Water are already on over €100,000 per annum and householders will be covering these salaries in their water rates bills,” he said, “and €86 million has been spent on consultants alone and €20,000 has been wasted on a non-descript logo design that could have easily been equalled through a children’s art competition.”

Mr Emrich said Irish Water “can be defeated” if May’s Local and European elections are turned into a referendum on water charges.

“If the parties who favour these taxes receive a defeat, the future of this Government along with its taxes will come into question,” he said. “We need people to turn their anger into public demonstration to let politicians and the Government know how we feel.

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