Galway householders should not co-operaterate with Irish Water or provide any information to the controversial organisation.
This is the call being made by the Anti-Austerity Alliance in advance of Irish Water sending out ‘application packs’ to homes across the State, which householders will be expected to fill in and including personal and household details.
The group is also calling for householders not respond in any way to letters, application packs, or “any form of threats” which may be sent to householders in the future.
According to the AAA’s Sean Byrne, the remit of Irish Water will be to meter, impose charges, and pass service problems back to local councils. He also believes that Irish Water “does not have the power” to “automatically deduct charges” from pay, pensions, social welfare or personal bank accounts, and that this adds strength to the call to boycott.
“This Government has shown an unwillingness to clog up the courts in the past when hundreds of thousands of people refused to pay the household tax,” he said. “Facing into a General Election they will not be looking for that kind of a stand-off again.”
Mr Byrne also questioned assertions that water charges is an environmental issue and that direct charges will help conservation. He noted that in Britain, where water charges have been in place for many years, there was an initial saving of seven per cent, but that this dropped down to three per cent over time.
“A three per cent saving is a drop in the ocean compared to the 41 per cent of water lost every year due to leaks in our piping network,” he said. “This is where investment is needed, not in spending hundreds of millions on meters and setting up Irish Water and paying their executive perks.”
Mr Byrne also pointed out that householders already pay for water through central taxation, despite official suggestions to the contrary.
“The Government will simply divert the money we currently use to pay for water to pay off the interest on the national debt and the bank bailout,” said the AAA’s Conor Burke. “They are imposing this new charge to make up the difference.”