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Water charges

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 262 ✭✭ tomfoolery60


    Given every country in the OECD has water charges (including all of social democratic Scandinavia) and the Irish state raises less in taxes than it spends annually, what rationale outside of political opportunism is there for abolishing the water usage charge? Do you fundamentally disagree with usage charges? And, if so, how do you propose to ensure that people use scarce resources appropriately?


Comments

  • #2


    The Social Democrats plan to abolish water charges, but will outstanding IW bills be pursued, and if not, will law abiding citizens who paid their bills be refunded?


  • #2


    I would be very interested in reading the answer to these questions, too. I have a candidate in my constituency, who is down to my shortlist of 3 for my first preference.


  • #2
    Given every country in the OECD has water charges (including all of social democratic Scandinavia) and the Irish state raises less in taxes than it spends annually, what rationale outside of political opportunism is there for abolishing the water usage charge? Do you fundamentally disagree with usage charges? And, if so, how do you propose to ensure that people use scarce resources appropriately?
    The problem with the water charge is that the money being charged on domestic water charges is not being used to run, or to upgrade, the water system. Even if everyone paid their water bill, the money collected would do nothing other can cover the costs of the water meters and the costs of billing.

    That might sound crazy but it's true - effectively all of the tax revenue being raised by the water charge is being spent on administering and collecting that tax.



    [font=Foco-Regular, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Here’s what the Social Democrats are proposing:[/font]

    • Water charges should be abolished, as should the conservation grant.
    • The meter rollout should be stopped.
    • A full and open financial review of Irish Water should be conducted to identify what cost savings can be achieved each year and how they can be reinvested in the water system.
    • Irish Water should be abolished and reconstituted as a public body, rather than as a commercial semi-state, to ensure it can never be privatised.
    • Public ownership should be protected via a referendum to change the Constitution.


  • #2


    The problem with the water charge is that the money being charged on domestic water charges is not being used to run, or to upgrade, the water system. Even if everyone paid their water bill, the money collected would do nothing other can cover the costs of the water meters and the costs of billing.

    That might sound crazy but it's true - effectively all of the tax revenue being raised by the water charge is being spent on administering and collecting that tax.



    [font=Foco-Regular, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Here’s what the Social Democrats are proposing:[/font]

    • Water charges should be abolished, as should the conservation grant.
    • The meter rollout should be stopped.
    • A full and open financial review of Irish Water should be conducted to identify what cost savings can be achieved each year and how they can be reinvested in the water system.
    • Irish Water should be abolished and reconstituted as a public body, rather than as a commercial semi-state, to ensure it can never be privatised.
    • Public ownership should be protected via a referendum to change the Constitution.

    And this will forever more be the case? I see every other developed country hasn't yet realised having water metres and charges is a net loss to their exchequers. How foolish of them.


  • #2


    The problem with the water charge is that the money being charged on domestic water charges is not being used to run, or to upgrade, the water system. Even if everyone paid their water bill, the money collected would do nothing other can cover the costs of the water meters and the costs of billing.

    That might sound crazy but it's true - effectively all of the tax revenue being raised by the water charge is being spent on administering and collecting that tax.
    [*]And this will forever more be the case? I see every other developed country hasn't yet realised having water metres and charges is a net loss to their exchequers. How foolish of them.
    [*]
    Well, I lived in the US and paid water charges for almost 30 years, and I can't think of any water bill that came even close to what I'm expected to pay in Ireland, even in hot climates where I had to water my lawn, even given that my water bill included wastewater/sewer and often garbage collection as well. Somehow they managed to pay for meters and infrastructure out of what they charged.


  • #2


    No answer on the refund question?


  • #2


    Phoebas wrote: »
    No answer on the refund question?

    Why would you get a refund. You paid for what you used at the time, others didn't pay and now the enity doesn't exist anymore, so there's no one to give you a refund. That's my guess on it too he honest.

    Same if we legalised certain drugs, do the people in prison get release? Do we give people have there confiscated drugs/cash etc..

    Only thing I know is investors seemingly got money back after a bank collapsed. But by the same token if your horse doesn't win at the races can you ask the betting shop for your money back.


  • #2


    TallGlass wrote: »
    Phoebas wrote: »
    No answer on the refund question?

    Why would you get a refund. You paid for what you used at the time, others didn't pay and now the enity doesn't exist anymore, so there's no one to give you a refund. That's my guess on it too he honest.

    Same if we legalised certain drugs, do the people in prison get release? Do we give people have there confiscated drugs/cash etc..

    Only thing I know is investors seemingly got money back after a bank collapsed. But by the same token if your horse doesn't win at the races can you ask the betting shop for your money back.
    No offence, but I'm not asking what your policy is; I'm asking what the Social Democrats policy is.


  • #2
    I should have included this in my last post too, more detail on the revenue/cost breakdown 



  • #2


    Phoebas wrote: »
    No offence, but I'm not asking what your policy is; I'm asking what the Social Democrats policy is.

    This is a discussion board in fairness, people are allowed to post there own options or others users questions. It be a pretty boring place if no one replied unless asked directly. Anyway don't want to derail your question.


  • #2


    I have one further question in addition to the refund query above. 

    Does SD policy intend to ever charge the public based on consumption of water?


  • #2


    Water charges are an insignificant nothing to me. USC on the other hand is raping me every month. Do you think the state getting more of my money than I do is right? You plan to thieve more of it. No thanks.


  • #2


    Water charges are an insignificant nothing to me. USC on the other hand is raping me every month. Do you think the state getting more of my money than I do is right? You plan to thieve more of it. No thanks.
    At no point have they said that they want more of your money. They want to use the money that you're paying to reduce your cost of living. High taxes are not a bad thing as long as the money is invested in a smart and advantageous way.


  • #2


    Phoebas wrote: »
    No answer on the refund question?
    Any chance of an answer to this prior to the election?

    FF came out today saying that they would abolish water charges but that all outstanding bills must be paid. SF say that if you didn't pay you'll be let off, but if you paid you'll get no refund. Both very simple, clear positions.

    Can the SocDems state their position on this?


  • #2


    robdonn wrote: »
    Water charges are an insignificant nothing to me. USC on the other hand is raping me every month. Do you think the state getting more of my money than I do is right? You plan to thieve more of it. No thanks.
    At no point have they said that they want more of your money. They want to use the money that you're paying to reduce your cost of living. High taxes are not a bad thing as long as the money is invested in a smart and advantageous way.
    So "temporary" USC is now permanent and anyone who gets rid of it is cutting taxes irresponsibly? I reckon our tax money is being spent unwisely and things cost a lot more than they should.  Efficient public services is what we need, run like you would run a private company. Lots of wasters in the public service.


  • #2


    SO MUCH WASTE!?!?  It drives me mad.  Everyone I know has a public service story of extreme wastefulness.  Be it a person that does no work and is never challenged on it, or some bizarre spending scheme that wastes a fortune.   Those things are so de-motivating to the hard working people that are all over the public service.  The good ones end up leaving out of frustration sometimes.

    It's similar in Irish Water; not a cent of the collected monies being spent on water, all being spent on bill administration.  Why bother.


  • #2


    For anyone following this thread, we now have an answer to one of the questions that was raised.

    The Social Democrats said they believe that people who had not paid should not be pursued and it was only fair that those who had paid should be refunded.

    It would have been nice to get this information prior to the election, but at least this seems to be a 'fair' position, even if it turns out to be a very costly one.


  • #2


    Phoebas wrote: »
    It would have been nice to get this information prior to the election, but at least this seems to be a 'fair' position, even if it turns out to be a very costly one.
    Well considering they're pretty much the only ones refusing to cut the USC, they should have enough in the budget to do it.


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