Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ireland's Water Wars and Woes

People elsewhere might argue that they have to pay water taxes, or charges, but in Ireland, the citizens are already paying increased rates of central tax part of which is earmarked to accommodate the cost of maintaining and upgrading the water supply and infrastructure. Also in 2000, Irish people were given an exemption to the article 9 requirement of the European Commission domestic water directive which requires European governments to charge for domestic water supply, an exemption the current government allowed to expire at the end of 2014.
With the establishment of the private water company Irish Water the accompanying instillation of water meters will charge the people of Ireland for their water a second time. Irish people have already been burdened with the highest debt per head (per capita) in Europe (yes more than Greece) and the second highest in the world only behind Japan. Ireland owes 42% of all Europe’s debt but with the entire European population estimated at 506,891,000 Ireland makes up less than 1% of the population with only 4,630,000 people.

 Poverty has doubled in Ireland since 2008. One in five children goes to school or bed hungry every day. Some teachers have resorted to bringing in extra packed lunches for children who show up without any. The number of children living with deprivation of needs currently stands at 37.3%. In a mortgage lenders report it states that there were 16,683 homes that could be repossessed in the near future.

 There is a very high percentage of working poor in Ireland as well as unemployed, able workers. The rate of unemployment has been misrepresented by the government. Time after time they fail to include the number of people who have been forced to emigrate which has reached up to 1000 people per week including 10% of the young population. The unemployment figure including these people would stand at around 20% which is a far cry from the current state line of approximately 9.8%. The figures still fail to take into consideration the number of Irish people who have been forced into internship programmers for an extra €50 per week with the threat of being cut off social welfare. This particular system is badly managed and is rife with abuse by employers. Some are using interns to cover maternity leave, or as free labor that has a turn over period of 9 months; positions that could be filled by paid workers. There are also 356,000 people in receipt of regular social welfare.

from here