EU law means water bill and charges will lead directly to privatisation, ever-rising prices and degradation of water services

Water bill: A government and troika plan to asset strip vital natural resource

Richard_Boyd_BarrettIn a statement, People Before Profit/ULA TD Richard Boyd Barrett, speaking in the dail this evening at 5.45 said the Water Services Bill, currently being rammed through the dail with yet another guillotine by government will lead directly to the privatisation of water as a result of EU competition laws.

Specifically under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. it states that “services of a general economic interest, or having the character of a revenue producing monopoly [which is what the new semi-State will be] shall be subject to the rules contained in the treaties, in particular to the rules on competition.” (Articles 106 and 107)

Deputy Boyd Barrett said false concern by the Government about water conservation was nothing but a smokescreen to cover up a deliberate plan by the government and EU/IMF to asset strip the state of key natural resources under the auspices of the troika agreement.

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Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that the universal experience of water privatisation across the world where it has occurred, has been dramatic with ever-increasing price hikes, job losses, a collapse in investment and a deteoriation of water quality and service.

Deputy Boyd Barrett added that whereas the public services and provision of this vital service have suffered in all cases, water privatisation profits and the executice salaries of multi-national water companies have increased in direct correlation to the rise in prices.

Richard Boyd Barrett also said that it is extremely worrying that Denis O’Brien and Siteserv are in the mix, a company which coincidentally had 110 million of its debt written off by Anglo.

“The Government is deliberately deceiving the public on the issue of water privatisation. EU law, requires that the rules of competition must apply to any revenue producing monopoly and that is exactly what Irish water will be”

“As sure as night follows day, as soon as Irish Water starts charging for water, the state will have to allow private competition in the market and that will lead directly to privatisation”.

“Everywhere privatisation has occurred prices have risen dramatically while investment in infrastructure and water quality have been drastically reduced leading to droughts and health problems”

“This agenda to bring in charges is even more obnoxious in the current climate of unemployment and financial hardship. Adding water charges on top of property tax and all the other cuts will utterly crucify hundreds of thousands of families and I encourage people to resist these austerity measures”