15 January 2016
By Elaine Murphy
Anti Austerity Alliance Cork City Councillor Mick Barry this morning rubbished claims made yesterday by Irish Water that 61% are now paying the water charges and said that the “real figure” was much closer to 50%.
“Despite all the phonecalls and texts Irish Water are making to try to scare people and put them under pressure to pay it is clear that approximately 50% of all households are continuing to boycott the water charge. People should continue to boycott safe in the knowledge that no penalties kick in until the bills that are issued in July/August this year and that the General Election which will take place in the meantime offers a great opportunity to increase the pressure to abolish the charge.”
The Irish Water statement indicates that 928,000 have paid water charges.
“But this figure is largely worthless because it includes people who paid the first and second bill and then joined non-payment.”
“Irish Water claim that 98,000 paid the bill for the first time in the third billing period but they don’t provide figures for people who had paid on the first or second bill but didn’t pay the third. Therefore, they are refusing to release information which would indicate whether the number who paid the third bill increased or decreased or what percentage paid.
Irish Water claim to have received 110.8m euro now in total revenue. In the first billing quarter they had claimed to have a target of 66.8m euro. If that figure is tripled (for 3 billing quarters) you get a total of 200.4m – the total they should have received in revenue. But 110.8m euro is NOT 61% of 200.4euro – in fact it is only 55% of it.
But 55% is likely to overestimate the number of payers. In the first quarter the percentage of revenue received was 46%. This was achieved with only 43% paying. In other words, those with higher bills had an increased tendency to pay. If this tendency has been maintained, 55% revenue probably represents a payment level of 50% or perhaps slightly above it.”
Cllr Barry concluded:
“Irish Water are putting dodgy statistics out there while at the same time refusing to release other crucial pieces of information. They are forced to do this to cover up what is an inconvenient truth for them and for this Government – that despite all the intimidation and pressure the level of water charges non-payment remains very high and has a real chance of forcing the next Government to abolish the charges.”
Right2Water will organise water charges protests demonstrations nationally on Saturday next week (23 January 2016)
The Cork demonstration will assemble at the Grand Parade at 2pm.