The issue of the water charges is set to the the most contentious issue in the formation of a new Government, a spokesman for the Galway We Won’t Pay Campaign has said.
Conor Burke (AAA Galway & We Won’t Pay campaign ) said yesterday that any attempt to rescue Irish Water will further add to the uncertainty regarding the formation of a new Government.
“As predicted Labour have been decimated and FG have taken a heavy hit. Fine Gael who were consistently polling at about 30 per cent for much of the past two years dramatically dropped by 5 points to 25 per cent. What this suggests at the very least is that the public were massively displeased with the government, talk of recovery just did not gel with a huge proportion of people from whom there clearly is no real recovery being felt,” he said.
“Water charges while not the most common issue to be raised on the doors, non the less was a major factor, and as the parties look to cobble together some kind of functioning government the abolition of water charges will be decisive in any negotiations. Any attempt to try and rescue Irish water and push ahead with charges will almost certainly lead to major public confrontation which will undoubtedly lead to instability within any potential coalition.
Mr Burke added that the boycott of water charges which stands at approximately 50 per cent means that no matter what government comes to power they will have “a major headache to contend with in this regard, they can not forge ahead unless they are willing to start taking hundreds of thousands of people through the courts.” “Apart from the courts not being able to deal with that volume of cases it would be instant political suicide for any new government to even attempts it.
“The people have spoken and while political pundits scratch their heads trying to figure out just exactly what they have said, one thing is crystal clear, water charges in the form of a direct charge and bill is not a runner. No tax or charge has ever succeeded with such high levels of non compliance and given the message of the people in this election it looks like water charges are not going to buck that trend,” he concluded.