No-one Will be Safe From Water Charges (first published on indymedia.ie Oct 2014)

The Irish government is charging for public water as part of its TISA signup. This is just the start, we will all pay for all water if they have their way, even if we don't get any services from Irish Water. The eventual plan will be to privatize all resources so that absolutely nothing will be free in this country.

The previous government laid the foundations in 2007 for what this government is doing now, it's called the Water Services Act. Our current government, along with 22 other countries, signed up for the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) a few years ago, absent-mindedly forgetting to mention it to anyone - which has directly led to what is happening now in relation to our water supply.

Every year county councils receive money from the government for the management and maintenance of water facilities, this money comes out of our taxes. So as of January we will be expected to pay twice for our water to a non-state company.

In the case of well owners, they pay for no received services, pay the running costs for their own well and yet they too will have to pay eventually if they fill in the Irish Water application. Many rural householders believe they are safe from these charges - but this is not the case at all.

By signing the application form the householder accepts liability to be charged by Irish Water, even if they don't receive one drop of water from Irish Water. In many cases meters have been installed on private property without the householder's permission, Irish Water or their agents have no right to do so and no legal right to force people to become customers if they do not wish to.

What is worse than being asked to pay twice for our most precious natural resource is the fact that the government has kept silent about its plans to privatize the water industry - which will undoubtedly lead to higher costs again and possibly even lower quality supply.

Unfortunately, due to ignorance of the law, many people may unknowingly give away their legal rights if they complete and return the Irish Water form. This sneaky way of ensnaring the public and collecting data needs to be fully exposed to prevent people being hoodwinked.

This is a fight that the people of Ireland must take on board, not just for future generations but for people all over the world who are under threat from TISA and other such agreements that benefit corporations at the expense of sovereign nations and their people.

Do not sign the forms, return them unsigned. If you can, join the protests and local groups - this is too important to stand by and just let it happen. The government is afraid of people power, they don't listen now, but they can be forced to listen if enough people refuse to non-violently not comply. It's time the people of this country finally woke up and defended their rights against government/corporate abuse.

www.right2water.ie