Why Irish Water can F**k off.

WATER Meters are on their way to Waterford. Last week we saw them TRY to make their way into Ferrybank (Waterford/Kilkenny/on the ground somewhere between two stools), but the strong-willed residents were having none of it. Let’s get one thing clear right now, these people are not protesting about just another bill, they are protesting about a company that is anything but as transparent as the water that they will be charging us for. Here are some reasons why we need to be halting Irish Water in their tracks.
Why pay for bad water?
This is what the people of Ferrybank are especially angry about. A number of years ago, Kilkenny County Council changed the water supply that enters homes all over Ferrybank and Slieverue, without asking anyone’s permission. They made a decision, that would ultimately cost homeowners a fortune, and there was nothing that anyone could do or say about it. Lime in the water is causing a build-up of limescale in kettles, shower heads, washing machines, dishwashers and also the pipes that run throughout the house. The lime dramatically reduces the life span of the pipes and the appliances and they all need constant replacing. And for the privilege of receiving water that is ruining your home, you must now pay Irish Water. You can see why one would protest.
Dangerous Water Meters?
So-called ‘Smart Meters’ have been withdrawn from countries such as Australia and America because of potentially dangerous radiation that they emit on a regular basis. Irish Water are on record as saying, “Our meters are not smart meters. We use analogue meters with AMR technology for meter readings.” Irish Water have also said “The meters will provide automated meter readings which will emit signals, which the reader will be able to collect digitally.” I always thought that digital was the opposite of analogue but sure I might be wrong. The disadvantages of AMR meter readings are “Loss of privacy – details of use reveal information about user activities“ “Greater potential for monitoring by other/unauthorized third parties” “Reduced reliability (more complicated meters, more potential for interference by third parties)” and “Increased security risks from network or remote access”.
A company built on lies
It has cost €180 million to set up Irish Water. €86million of that was spent on consultants, which included €32million on IT, €13 million on economic advice, €12million on billing and registration and €8million on support services. Phil Hogan, the man whose department oversaw this spending claimed that he wasn’t aware of how much money was being spent by Irish Water, until it was revealed that he actually signed off on it all. After his lie was exposed, Mr. Hogan commented “You can’t make and omelette without breaking eggs.”
Additionally, after being told that Irish Water staff wouldn’t be paid exorbitant wages, we have learned that 42 staff will earn between €70K and €80K, 35 will earn between €80K and €90K, 21 will earn between €90K and €100K, 19 will earn between €100K and €125K, 9 will earn between €125K and €150K and 1 person will earn over €150K. Most staff members are also entitled to performance related bonuses. Nice work if you can get it.
PPS Numbers
Irish Water’s will be the first ever utility bill that will ask for your PPS number. The reason for this, they say, is so they can “assign allowances per household so each household is to receive 30,000 litres for free and every child in the state is to have free water.” That’s all well and good but for me, that’s the equivalent of handing someone your wallet on a promise that they’re only going to use your library card. According to Irish Water’s Data Protection Page, they say the following “The Data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (EEA). It may also be processed by staff operating outside of the EEA, who works for us or one of our suppliers.” That doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
Don’t forget Siemens
There seems to be so much controversy around Irish Water that each time a new one rears its ugly head we seem to forget about the others. Personally, I can’t seem to forget that German infrastructure and energy giant Siemens offered to foot the €810m-plus cost of installing meters in 1.3 million Irish homes back in 2010, but Phil Hogan decided not to pursue the option. Instead, the Irish people had to foot the bill. And we will continue to foot the bill for many years to come. If, for example, people start to become frugal with their water consumption, then Irish Water will have the right to increase their bills. All this set up money has to be recouped somehow you know. The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), which already decides on price increases for electricity and gas, confirmed that under its plans, Irish Water will be given the flexibility to raise water charges annually if revenue from households is less than expected. Doesn’t that just piss you off? How is it different to a restaurant charging you more for your steak because you didn’t get a starter and a bottle of wine to go with it?
More than anything else, I hate the fact that people who are protesting about Irish Water are being made to look like radicals by our Government. You only have to look at how our state-owned broadcaster refused to cover an anti-water charges march on the capital that was attended by thousands. What are they afraid of?
I strongly believe that the carry-on of the government and Irish Water wouldn’t be accepted in another country, so we shouldn’t accept it here.

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About deisesupes

Creative Writer, part time journalist, part time Graphic Design enthusiast.
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One Response to Why Irish Water can F**k off.

  1. Great article Darren.

    I’d like to add that government ministers can claim water charges as expenses on their second homes. See here: http://www.thejournal.ie/ministers-dual-abode-allowance-irish-water-charges-1699090-Sep2014/

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