No Contract No Consent?

at

IrishWater_Mark_Colour_border

What is the legal basis for your contract with Irish Water?

Is it worth the paper it’s not written on?

We asked Legal Coffee Drinker what’s it all about?

Broadsheet: “Legal Coffee Drinker, what’s it all about?

Legal Coffee Drinker: “The authority to charge users of water for water charges comes from Part 3 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 , in particular Section 21, which says Irish Water “shall charge each customer for the provision of its water services in accordance with the approved water charge plan.”

Broadsheet: “Some readers have suggested that there can be no legal charge in the absence of a contract between the user and Irish Water?”

LCD: “Not the case. The entitlement to charge derives from the Act and is not dependent on the presence of a contract. If Section 21 did not exist, a contract would of course be needed – but this is not the case.”

Broadsheet: “Doesn’t the word ‘customer’ in Section 21 imply a contract must exist?”

LCD: “No, because Section 2 of the same Act defines customer – somewhat sneakily – as “the occupier of the premises in respect of which the water supply is provided.” Occupation and provision of services, on its own, gives rise to liability for water charges.”

Broadsheet: “Even though it’s not enough to imply a contract?”

LCD: “Yes. Acts of the Oireachtas – like this one – can impose liability for charges even where no contract exists.”

Broadsheet: “Who sets the water charges?”

LCD: “Section 21 of the Act says Irish Water shall charge each customer for the provision of it by water services in accordance with a water charges plan submitted to and approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation. That’s the plan that’s recently been published (available here). There is provision for these charges to be varied by agreement between Irish water and the customer, but in the absence of such agreement it will be this plan which is applied.”

Broadsheet: “So what happens if you don’t pay these water charges?”

LCD: “You can be sued in court for a debt and judgment given against you for the sum owed. This judgment may be enforced by the Sheriff in the usual way. In addition, if you are a business, your water can be cut off or reduced for non-payment. Section 21(8) of the legislation prohibits the cutting off of water in respect of domestic principles, possibly because of constitutional concerns (there are South African cases holding the cutting off of water to dwellings for non-payment of charges unlawful).”

Broadsheet: “Can the water charges plan be challenged?”

LCD: “The Commission decision approving the plan is judicially reviewable and can be challenged if the scheme provided for in the plan breaches the principles and policies of the Water Charges (No. 2) Act 2013. Alternatively it can be challenged or on other judicial review grounds (e.g. bias, breach of legitimate expectation, taking into account irrelevant considerations, ignoring relevant considerations). In exceptional circumstances ‘unreasonableness’ may provide grounds for judicial review but it is a very difficult criteria to satisfy. Finally it can be challenged on the basis that it breaches constitutional rights (see below).”

Broadsheet:
“So the Water Charges regime is subject to constitutional scrutiny?”

LCD: “Yes. Like every statutory provision in Ireland, the Water Charges (No. 2) Act 2013 and the Plan approved under Section 21 apply only to the extent that they are constitutional and, if there is a doubt about their constitutionality in some respect, the courts are obliged to interpret them to give a constitutional interpretation if at all possible [drains coffee].
We have no express constitutional right to water in Ireland. However it is at least arguable that some sort of right to water to domestic premises is implicit in the human rights guarantees in the Constitution, and the legislature has implicitly recognised this by prohibiting the cutting off of water to domestic premises.
Whether or not this is a right to an unpaid supply of water is an entirely different matter; it is unlikely that persons in good financial circumstances would be deemed to have their constitutional rights breached by being charged for water. The situation might be different, however, in cases of financial need where someone was genuinely unable to meet water charges. It will be interesting to see what happens on this in the future.”

Broadsheet: Thanks Legal Coffee Drinker. You’ll need a drop of water yourself after all that!

LCD: “No.”

Broadsheet: “Let’s hope you aren’t an Illegal Water Drinker!”

LCD: “Look, I have to go.”

Broadsheet: “Thanks very much Legal Coffee Drinker. Bye. Sorry.”

Pic: Irish Water

111 thoughts on “No Contract No Consent?

  1. noncanonicalpokemon

    “Manufacturing Consent” comes to mind.

    But seriously:

    A) the extra allowance / charge capping for certain medical conditions operates on an honour system.

    B) they can only sue for what you ‘owe’ them for water (i.e. why pay when you may not get caught, and in the event that you are caught, you haven’t lost any more than you would have anyway.)

    1. Cian

      They can add the costs of sueing you to the amount they’re pursuing you for as well ( assuming the courts agree – but in our legal system, that’s quite likely). They’re also potentially eligilble to charge you interest, and a court judgement against you will *really* screw with your chances of getting a mortgage or the like in future.

  2. andydufresne2012

    Not such a daft suggestion after all Medium Sized C.

    “I didn’t say it was a daft suggestion. What I said was . . . ” blah blah blah.

    Thanks for that Broadsheet!

      1. DoM

        Or more importantly: if you don’t understand the rules of sarcasm, you think they don’t apply to you?

    1. Louis Lefronde

      Ignorantia juris non excusat is a long established legal maxim and it applies here (Lewis v. Squash Ireland [1983] ILRM 363)

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    Thanks LCD. Will digest.

    Always love the line: “Broadsheet: “Legal Coffee Drinker, what’s it all about?”

    1. ReproBertie

      I wish it were so but I fear we’ll hear about how LCD is talking about law not common law and the contract applies to legal persons not flesh and blood persons, etc., etc.

    1. Mister Mister

      You don’t have to, it’s free. They generate income, albeit small I guess, from advertisers and begging.

  4. Happy Molloy

    Like we can believe LCD!!!

    Everyone who has ever studied law has been corrupted and are in on the scam! Every single one of them, that’s why not one single individual with legal qualifications, not even one, has ever agreed with “no consent, no contract”

    If you want real legal advice you need to go to the people who have no formal legal education but are expert lay litigants from reading articles on line and selective passages from first year law texts.

    I’ll do the logical thing I’ll take my legal advice from Tir na Saor thank you very much

    1. Legal Coffee Drinker

      Happy – definitely in favour of people reading the law and making up their own mind! And I completely agree that there can be no contract between people in the absence of consent – you are absolutely right here.

      The difficulty is that legislation (Acts of the Oireachtas) can impose obligations to pay on people without their consent, and without any contract being in place – and that’s what it has done in this case.

      Legislation comes from the legislature we elect, so if you are unhappy with it – you have the option of voting them out and putting in someone who will change the legislation.

      Legislation as I have mentioned is also subject to the Constitution so that a legislative provision that breaches constitutional rights may be struck down, or interpreted narrowly so that it doesn’t violate constitutional rights.

      Hope this helps but as always, keep reading yourself and make up your own mind! Law belongs to everyone, not just to lawyers…

      1. Happy Molloy

        LCD, thank you very much for your response – I should just highlight that my post was very much tongue and cheek!
        It’s in response to the many many “lay litigants” giving out terrible advice all over the internet and my post was meant to sound absolutely ridiculous below your highly logical interview above.

        I agree with all that you say and think these other bucks are quite dangerous and causing a lot of probelms for a lot of people and I was trying, obviosuly unsuccesful, to show how ridiculous they actually are

    2. TirNaSaor

      Tír na Saor’s founder has a degree in law and is not part of the scam. There’s lots of people who have studied formally who are clued in so I wouldn’t write everyone off just for that! But Irish Water is just indicative of a much wider issue that’s been raised by TnS for several years – we live in a system of ‘forced consent’. “Oh the government said so” no longer stands up to modern philosophical and ethical scrutiny. And since man instituted government to secure rights to life, liberty, happiness, etc, it becomes a right and duty of the current generation to alter or abolish government when it becomes destructive of its original purpose. (John Locke’s 2nd Treatise, American Declaration of Independence)

      If you are a free agent you can only be ‘obliged’ to do the things you have agreed to do, forced obligations imply an absence of freedom or bondage or slavery.

      We live in a system that forces consent through threats of violence and incarceration. “Forced consent” is a misnomer, the correct word is “coercion”.

      Despite our imagined ideas of the legitimacy of Statehood it is really nothing more than “force veiled as legitimacy – under the colour of law”. Comments like “oh well, that’s the legislature and we elect people to make those rules” amount to saying that our democratic or civil duties end in the ballot box and tough cookie if the fascists get in, just vote them out in four years!

      An old maxim states ‘contract makes the law’ – meaning ‘agreement’ – meaning you can’t be held to be in dishonour by another unless you’ve actually gone against some previously made agreement. But we’re born into this nonsensical system where the existence of a little blue book somehow magically implies that you agree to all the decrees of the state, that you belong to it, and you must obey it no matter how immoral you feel it to be. And if you don’t do this, well it’s okay for men in uniforms to come to your home and drag you out and lock you in a prison?! Nonsense. Unjustifiable nonsense that future generations will surely (hopefully?) condemn us for.

      So all Irish Water is doing is waking people up to the bigger scam. It’s no different than anything else the government forces you to do under threat and intimidation. Because when you strip all the verbage and decoration away that’s what’s going on.

      Tir na Saor advocates that we should all be thinking about reformed models of governance so society can evolve from this sort of carry on.

      1. Happy Molloy

        nice post and all true but I think most are in favour of this acquiescence as it makes for a safe and stable society

          1. ReproBertie

            Tír na Saor seems to ignore the fact that the state we acquiesce to provides us with education, infrastructure, healthcare and security in return. I imagine the majority would like to keep those benefits, thanks all the same.

          2. Bff

            ReproBertie,
            “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”- Benjamin Franklin

  5. Panty Christ

    I’m really attracted to the non gendered legal coffee drinker. Their intelligence is a thing of beauty.

      1. Alfred E. Neumann

        Oh, stop it. There is no consensus anywhere on how to replace gendered pronouns, and why on earth would you correct someone whose meaning you have understood? Are you opening a club?

  6. froinky

    Social experiment – Rather than cutting off water to those that refuse to pay (on grounds of principal as opposed to hardship) – why not add a food dye to it?

  7. Spartacus

    “…it is unlikely that persons in good financial circumstances would be deemed to have their constitutional rights breached by being charged for water. The situation might be different, however, in cases of financial need where someone was genuinely unable to meet water charges. It will be interesting to see what happens on this in the future.”

    This is the epicentre of the valid protests against the implementation of these charges, Phillip Hogan and his trainwreck that is now Irish Water, and the incumbents (for now) in Leinster House. Just as with the Household Tax, the myopic assumptions that all can afford to pay “arra shure ’tis only a couple of Euro a week”.

    1. Wayne Carr

      What about the non-for nowers? What about the permanent government? What about the civil service? Water charges are here to stay.

    2. Michael

      Going to be hard to make a case that financial circumstances mean that someone cannot afford water if they are shown to spend amount involved on other far from essential services whether it is fags booze satellite tv or whatever.

      1. Spartacus

        Did you know that there are people in this country who (unemployed through no fault of their own, and with no realistic prospect of a job) live on 186€ per week (or less in some cases), and receive no reduction in Household Tax, nor will they see any concessions with water tax? Or does that not fit in with your narrow portfolio of stereotypes?

        1. Michael

          You seemed to have missed the point entirely.
          LCD outlines the legal situation re water charges. LCD leaves as a questions the situation whereby someone claims they are unable to pay such charges. Would the court in that situation rule that someone had a right to water despite their inability to pay?
          You describe that as the epicentre of the campaign.
          All i was doing was pointing out that in that scenario the court is likely to examine lack of ability to pay for one of life’s essentials and whether the inability to pay somehow resulted in a breach of a human right to water. And they are likely to take the view that if an amount of money is being spent per week on things that are non-essential over what is essential that no such breach occurs.
          The point was legal ra

        2. Michael

          You seemed to have missed the point entirely.
          LCD outlines the legal situation re water charges. LCD leaves as a questions the situation whereby someone claims they are unable to pay such charges. Would the court in that situation rule that someone had a right to water despite their inability to pay?
          You describe that as the epicentre of the campaign.
          All i was doing was pointing out that in that scenario the court is likely to examine lack of ability to pay for one of life’s essentials and whether the inability to pay somehow resulted in a breach of a human right to water. And they are likely to take the view that if an amount of money is being spent per week on things that are non-essential over what is essential that no such breach occurs.
          The point was legal ra

          1. Nigel

            Seriously, dude, if it gets to the point where the margin between paying and not paying the water charges is occupied by a cigarettes, a television or a drink, then they’re probably too bloody poor to pay the full charges. When you’re pushing people into truly ascetic lifestyles against their will, you’re being a bit of a bollix.

          2. will-billy

            true but it already happens every day nigel in our courts. that is a whole other story though

      2. Nigel

        Yes, it’s going to look great with the financial morality police cutting down the relatively simple everyday modern pleasures of a cigarette or a drink or a television to pay yet another charge or tax, literally stripping people’s lives down to the absolute bare brute minimum, leaving zero margin between them and utter catastrophe, policing their comforts, demanding they forsake them because if they can’t afford them they don’t deserve them and if they can afford them another tax will be along shortly to suck up this clearly excess money. Won’t be happy until we’re as poor and joyless as the fifties. Won’t that look great?

        1. Michael

          Either that or get all the people animated over water charges to campaign for real political change?

          1. Nigel

            Too late. The greens are nearly gone, the independents are variable, SF are an abomination, Labour have shown their true worth and the two Effers are distinctive only in how competent their corruption is. Real reform is regarded as the naive and childish dream of hippies who think they’re better than everyone else and are not to be abided.

        2. Michael

          Again I am pointing out the likely legal outcome of a challenge based on inability to pay.
          Would favour an increase for low income households that at least compensates for average water charges.
          Dude.

  8. socrates

    I guess that a charge for water is reasonable, there are costs in taking the water to the peoples homes, in cleaning it and so on.

    But it is not admissible the way everything has been handled, or the fact that you pay even before anyone knows what the real consume is.

    Not to speak about the cost. I’m Spanish and in Spain water is an scarce resource, you need to storage it specially before the summer period in some parts, well, I don’t think I’ve paid 20 euros for a 3 months supply ever.

  9. Chris O'Brien

    I’ve been saying this for weeks now.. all you have to do is read the act and it debunks most of the conspiracy theories floating around online…

    I even did a point by point debunking of the “Myths About Irish Water” thing that went viral, but most of the claims in that are easily debunkable as soon as you read the act and see the definition of “customer”… that’s pretty much case closed on all of the fantasists “theories”.

    1. Spartacus

      If only they’d all listened to you, Chris. There would be no debate, nor would we need one. You should be in government.

      1. Chris O'Brien

        The truth isn’t about what people like. I don’t love a new charge.

        But that doesn’t mean conspiracy theories are true.

        It’s amazing to me how thick headed people are; just because a conspiracy theory would benefit you, and fits with your worldview, doesn’t make it true.

        And encouraging people to act in a way that stops them from getting their allowances – ie a much bigger bill in many cases – isn’t “helping” them.

        Wanna help people? Help them get all their legal allowances so that their bill is as small as possible.

        1. Spartacus

          Since I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, nor have I encouraged anyone to act in any particular way, I fail to see how my world view is in any way relevant.

          Shutting down debate is ultimately futile, as is your argument when you adopt a default position of “case closed”.

          1. Chris O'Brien

            Since you don’t subscribe to any conspiracy theories the comment is unrelated to you. Though I appreciate you taking them time to register your unrelated sentiment.

            Oh and “debate” isn’t about reality vs fantasy; unless – do you think we should be debating nonsense?

            Seems like a waste of time, but feel free.

          2. Spartacus

            Your expression of appreciation and your implicit approval of my freedom to spend my time as I see fit are duly noted, and will receive the appropriate degree of celebration in due course.

          3. rotide

            “Shutting down debate is ultimately futile, as is your argument when you adopt a default position of “case closed”.”

            I’ll be sure to remember this Spartacus

        2. Anne

          Regarding your comment on conspiracy theories, this seems apt –

          I also hate the term Conspiracy Theory. It is often used pejoratively, sneeringly–and worst of all, smugly–always by people who have never researched the topic under discussion. The phrase has diluted the very word conspiracy. There was a time when this was a highly charged noun that rang with echoes of sedition, treason, and political machination. Now it’s a joke, a sad sarcastic punchline: ‘Yeah right, everything’s a conspiracy. Yawn.’

          A conspiracy is just an agreement by two or more people to commit an illegal or subversive act. So how common do you imagine that to be? Personally, I don’t think we need a tribunal to tell us that there’s quite a lot of it about, wouldn’t you say?

          Darwin.ie

          You’re welcome.

          1. Chris O'Brien

            You can agree to hate the phrase all you want, but that doesn’t change the commonly understood usage of the phrase in 2014.

            Saying you can write some magic words on the outside of an envelope to negate a bill, or indeed an entire Act is a conspiracy theory. A very silly one at that. Social Media has convinced people it’s somehow possible, by attaching pseudolegal language to it. But, at the end of the day it’s just another stupid conspiracy theory.

          2. will-billy

            so fupping what? fupp you and your bullshit sense of superiority. you probably still wet the bed at night i reckon

          3. Anne

            Well, that would be misinformation not a conspiracy.

            If some law was enacted by a government saying they can have first dibs at your daughter’s virginity, would you comply because it’s the law?
            Threats from government that ‘it’s the law’ don’t stop people from protesting.

            If everyone ‘disobeyed’ this law it would not be possible to enforce it.
            It’s been done before with water charges.. many times.

          4. Chris O'Brien

            No – the conspiracy theory is that the politicians are deliberately lying about and passing an unconstitutional law that they know can easily be beaten with magic words. It’s trotted out all the time. The law didn’t happen – the crooks in power conspired to pass it and to keep the truth about defeating it a secret.

            It’s the same sort of mumbo jumbo the Freeman have been pushing for years now.

            I suppose you’re a big fan of them as well?

            Ok too of that – where does this anarchy end? If 1 million Irish men decide to take it on themselves to – to continue your analogy – rape women around the country – should the law just accept that – because it’s popular?

            Maybe you’re just not familiar with how democracy works? It’s subtly different to mob rule.

    1. Michael

      Not really.
      Governments can only make laws that are constitutional. The one on charges seems to be so but it is like any other piece of legislation open to challenge. As yet I have seen no case advanced that looked like it had the remotest chance of success.
      If everybody voted for candidates in the next election who stood on a platform to repeal water charges, then they would be repealed.

  10. Ironballs McGinty

    This is only the start of the water meter saga. I’d expect people to start posting about it next on Facebook.

  11. Louis Lefronde

    Ok, so here is a simple observation that I would like those of a left-wing inclination to address.

    The total Revenue for the state in 2013 was €58.5 billion

    The current Expenditure for the state in 2013 was €70.6 Billion

    The Current Budget deficit for 2013 was €12.1 billion, namely the state spent €12.1 Billion more than it raises in taxes,charges etc for the day-to-day running of the country!

    As it stands revenue for 2014 is slightly ahead of forecast (recovering economy) but there will still be a gap between revenue and expenditure. What the government is doing instead of closing the gap further between what the state earns and what it spends (which would be the sensible thing to do) is that they are playing election politics by proposing to reduce the tax burden (give you back some of your own money!) in the hope (1) this will stimulate further economic growth and therefore revenue from direct and indirect taxes (2) soothes the pain for hard pressed earners (3) reap the rewards in 16 months time when they will be up for re-election.

    So what I would like to know from the moaning left is how do they propose to close the gap between revenue and expenditure? The glib solution the left-wing usually give is ‘tax the rich’ – which of course in reality means ‘tax the middle class’ who are already squeezed into paying the maximum.

    In relation to the water charges. It’s simple really. When the state went bankrupt back in 2008, one of the conditions for emergency loans was that the tax base would be widened, and the gap between revenue and expenditure would be closed to a maximum of 3% by a given date. One of the conditions of the bailout was that water charges would be introduced. Now they are here.

    My major concern is not with the water charges as these were sadly inevitable once the state went bankrupt, but the manner in which Irish Water is harvesting PPS numbers for ‘allowances’. It is here where there may be a question of constitutionality. But that is another debate.

    1. scottser

      1 make ministerial pensions payable at 65, and at 1/3 of current rate.
      2 re-define what is sovereign debt to exclude private bank debt
      3 massive capital inestment in infrastucture and housing
      4 abolish public private partnerships, and renegotiate existing arrangements in favour of the taxpayer

      1. Michael

        1 – Grand but would only save a few million – deficit over 12000 million
        2 – We can redefine away but those who now give us the loans to keep us afloat do not have to agree. The amount we would have to pay for ongoing loans would again become prohibitive and we’d be back to another bailout. Work for debt cancellation certainly but unilateral action would bring immediate negative consequences
        3.Massive capital investment needs loans. See point 2
        4. PPP’s are partly a response to state not having money to invest. See 2 and 3. Renegotiation sounds like a stimulus programme for the Bar.

        1. Louis Lefronde

          Prior to the creation of the ‘Irish state’ most of the great capital investment programmes were initiated largely by the private sector, the state’s involvement was limited. I’ll have to check to see but I think there was public private partnerships in relation to the canals, railways, trams etc.

      2. Matthew

        1) Ministerial pensions make up a tiny fraction of the budget. This will help, but only an incredibly tiny amount.

        2) We’ve already assumed the bank debt. You can argue that we shouldn’t have (I would sympathize), but since it’s done, we can’t get rid of it without defaulting on sovereign debt. Debtors don’t get to “re-define” what their debt is, unfortunately.

        3) Massive investment programmes will widen the gap between expenditure and revenue, not shrink it. It may pay off at some point in the future, but it would only hurt our current budget situation.

        4) Not sure how this one is supposed to help.

    2. Niall

      I’m intensely relaxed about the budget deficit, tbh. Your mistake here, OP, is to think of the state’s budget like a household budget. Investing in infrastructure and putting more money in people’s pockets – especially low earners – will be more helpful in the long run, even in terms of deficit reduction.

      Debt / deficit, while it can’t be ignored, should be a bit down the list of priorities. I find that those who put it front and centre tend to be ideologically predisposed towards destroying the welfare state, and were even when we were pretty much running a surplus.

      Regressive, “flat tax” measures like the water charge are the last thing the government should be doing.

      1. ElZilcho

        Thank you for pointing this out, Niall. Deficits only ‘matter’ because of the made-up targets set out in the so-called Stability and Growth Pact.

  12. Joe

    what’s that I hear, ah yes it’s the collective crying from the folk that sent the letter back who now have the full legal facts instead of the misguided ones from some pleb that told em to send back the letter. some folk are very dumb god bless em.

  13. Kieran NYC

    50 or so posts and no one has accused LCD of being a Fine Gael shill because she has a different opinion to them.

    Colour me impressed.

  14. Shane

    Article 45, Section 2, sub-section 3 of The Constitution states:

    The State shall ,in particular, direct its policy towards securing, that especially, the operation of free competition, shall NOT be allowed so to develop as to result in the concentration of the ownership or control of ESSENTIAL commodities in a few individuals to the common detriment.

    I could be wrong here, but IMHO, this basically means that Irish Water is unconstitutional and the future sale of Irish Water would be unconstitutional. Water is THE most essential of all commodities. We cannot survive without it. We can survive without say petrol, oil, gas etc but not without water.

    1. Cian

      Irish Water’s state-held; its not private (despite what people would like you to believe) so this has no relevance.

  15. Ran n bone man

    The real question here is, since we’ll be paying for the water, do we get to choose if they continue to put flouride in it which is obviously poisoning our brains.
    (or have it flavoured glug glug)

  16. Toby Parker

    What Legal Coffee Drinker did not acknowledge is that people already pay for water.
    No one is expecting anything for free (only the politicians).

    Didn’t hear any questions about the 1.2 Billion Tax Payers already put towards water.

    In the media we are all given the impression that water is being handed to us out of the good of the Govts heart, like the price of it is coming from the coffers of Fine Gael or Labour when we the Irish People have been taxed for it.

    I am not paying and I don”t care what the consequences are.

    Irish Water is a criminal organisation that has been endorsed by a criminal Govt.
    Simple as.

    1. ReproBertie

      We pay billions in tax to fund the health system but if you spend time in hospital you get a bill.

      While we are paying the Irish Water bills we will still be subsidising the water supply via taxation. This is an extra charge, not a replacement.

      1. Antoin O O Lachtnain

        The basic idea was that people who use water should pay for it, instead of the cost being spread across the whole population. There is nothing inherently wrong with this.

        For years, we have been funding food commodities like milk through state subsidies that come from our taxes. But we still have to pay for the milk when we buy it in Lidl. Article 25 of the UNCHR recognises a right to food for our families, but it doesn’t mean that we get it for free.

        In Africa, there has been a big case about this. They certainly didn’t conclude that there was a blanket right to water. (http://www.ejiltalk.org/a-human-right-to-water-the-south-african-constitutional-court’s-decision-in-the-mazibuko-case/). In Ireland, no one is talking about cutting off water. They are just talking about billing for it.

        The way that IW has gone about doing this with their crazy metering program has been pretty pathetic but there is nothing wrong with the fundamental principle of the thing. (http://www.eire.com/2014/the-political-price-of-complexity/)

  17. Anne

    @ Tir Na Saor
    RE: Comments like “oh well, that’s the legislature and we elect people to make those rules” amount to saying that our democratic or civil duties end in the ballot box and tough cookie if the fascists get in, just vote them out in four years!

    Couldn’t agree more.
    It’s an insult to peoples’ intelligence to say it’s undemocratic to protest this latest charge, as our elected officials have been mandated by the people to bring in these charges.

    Here’s another excellent piece on this from Gene Kerrigan –
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/gene-kerrigan/theyre-decommissioning-democracy-30638890.html

  18. Anne

    Family/friends in the U.S. tell me they’re paying 50 – 60 dollars every 3 months for a family of 4 adults.
    East Coast and West.

    What are the estimates here at 4.44 per 1000 litres? 450 euro a year approx for 4 adults?
    Someone has to pay all those consultants I suppose.

  19. LJ

    I have not gotten a meter, nor have I received my application pack….I live in an apartment and they say they will send me a bill based on a guesstimate of the water I would use….is that even legal? It would be like going to a restaurant and being handed a huge bill before Ive even sat down to order ‘ ah sure you’ll probably eat X amount of food so here ya go’. And I’ve rang IW they told me that it may be up to 2yrs before I get a meter, I will not be paying them until I have a meter and the bill they give me is accurate.
    On another point when people start paying IW will that mean the taxes we already pay for our water system will stop? 5% of motor tax and 2% VAT – will that go towards something else like health?

    1. paul m

      it will go towards the health of someones bank balance before it even goes near another state departments budget.

    2. ReproBertie

      The government and Irish Water have both said that even with the income from the water charges Irish Water will still be subsidised by the government/tax payer for some time to come so, to answer your question, no.

      1. Anne

        The government and Irish Water have both said
        I’m a glutton for punishment I know.. Don’t want to be drawing you on me, but that’s where you went wrong there..

        It’s impossible to take anything that follows seriously.

          1. Anne

            Ah no, just a realist.
            If you were speaking to someone and they started a sentence with – “Well, Enda said…. “, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were going to tell you a joke.

Comments are closed.