We Won’t Pay to step up protests as first water bills arrive

With the first water tax bills arriving in homes over the coming days and weeks, the Galway We Won’t Pay campaign has vowed to step up its activities, and is calling for “a mass boycott of the bills” in an effort to defeat the controversial charges.

The group will hold open air street meetings around the city and plans to distribute thousands of leaflets to as many homes as possible with the aim of encouraging mass non-payment of the water bills.

Given there will be no fines or penalties for non-payment until July 2016 at the earliest and with a general election to be held in the meantime, WWP argues that a high level of non-payment will make water charges a key issue in Election 2016.

“The introduction of a direct water charge is the first step towards comodifying our water resources and the opening up of water to private commercial interests in the future,” said Conor Burke of WWP and the Anti-Austerity Alliance.

Mr Burke said mass non-payment would send “a clear message” that the public wants water to remain as a public utility “paid for by progressive taxation”.

He said that a fairer way for money to be collected to serve the State’s water infrastructure was for “a small financial transactions tax on banks and the financial sector” or a small wealth tax on all assets over the value of €1 million.

We Won’t Pay is also encouraging the public to attend the funeral for Irish Water protest this Saturday at 1pm at the Spanish Arch, and to travel to the Bin Your Bills protest in Dublin on Saturday April 18. For bus booking and information contact Sean Byrne on 087 - 9499817.

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