28 June 2015
By David O’Sullivan
Cork City Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Mick Barry has said the water charge will remain uncollectable if people hold firm and keep up the nationwide boycott despite new legislation that the Government aims to put through the Dail next week.
Rather than introduce a new Water Services Bill the Government are tacking a series of amendments onto the unrelated Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill – these amendments include mandatory payment of water charges when a house is sold or when a Council property is bought and new rules forcing landlords to make payment of water charges obligatory in new tenancy agreements.
The new legislation also allows the Government to hand over the database gathered in the registration process to Irish Water.
Cllr Barry said the Government parties, and Labour in particular, should “hang their heads in shame” for introducing such legislation.
He said the Government were trying to force even more austerity measures on ordinary people at a time that the economy was meant to be recovering.
However, Cllr Barry claimed that all the evidence indicates that more than half a million households will refuse to pay the first Irish Water bill and that there is nothing in the new legislation which can break this boycott, saying: “The Government are trying to stoke up a climate of fear but if people refuse to be afraid and stay strong there is nothing in this legislation which can break the boycott.”