Paul Clarke Offers an 8-point Plan to
Save Ireland’s Water

  1. Abolish Irish Water and restore public control of the water supply under local authority. Paul Clarke supports returning control of the water supply and water budget to local authorities in every appropriate instance and financing water directly from central government through general and progressive taxation. An independent commission established to monitor the uniformity of budget and staffing levels on a per capita basis will serve to prevent waste, fraud and abuse. This Government seriously underestimates the levels of poverty Ireland's families are faced with. Paul Clarke supports the mass non-payment of water charges to dissuade corporate takover of services and unsustainable austerity programmes enforced by this government upon struggling families in order to pay off bad banking debts of bondholders.
  2. Stop the installation of water meters. Paul Clarke supports the immediate de-commissioning of domestic water meters throughout affected regions in Ireland. Rather than using meters to quantify water usage, they should instead be deployed to gauge leakages and breakages. This would inform the priorities for infrastructural investment. Meters could also help to assess the nature of how we use (and misuse) water.
  3. Restore the marginal tax rate to 41%. Paul Clarke supports returning the marginal rate of tax to the previous 41%, restoring about €130 million per year to the budget. By introducing a third tax rate of 45% on earnings above €100,000 and abolishing the USC on earnings below €20,000, tax revenues will remain stable while reducing taxes by about €150 million. Money in peoples’ pockets can offset the costs associated with water charges as well as support the Irish economy.
  4. Stop paying €8 million of interest on banking debt for 2015. Paul Clarke supports ending payments on banking debt interest and redirecting these funds to repair major leaks in the existing water pipe network, install proper sewage treatment plants, develop new drinking water reservoirs where needed, and require all new housing to have water meters to locate residential leaks and require all new housing to install rain water systems for toilets—not drinking water.
  5. Develop a fair system to prevent wasteful water use. Paul Clarke supports creating a system based on ability to pay that will introduce a per capita charge on wasteful use of water above the average use of a typical adult. Preventing the misuse of water resources in the future will ensure that issues related to water charges can be avoided as Ireland moves forward.
  6. Reassign responsibility for water provision to local authorities. Paul Clarke supports ensuring that the responsibility for water provision and staff oversight is assigned to local authorities. He further supports requiring that the newly formed company structures are used to direct the investment programmes for the councils.
  7. Use existing public funds to invest in the public water system. Paul Clarke supports assigning a payment, based on employment and income status rather than water usage, of €1, €2, or €3 per week and taken from existing USC payments, to be invested directly in the public water system. This will improve the longevity of the existing infrastructure and eliminate the need for privatisation altogether.
  8. Integrate water-charge payments into rent increase for local authority housing tenants. Paul Clarke also supports stopping the ridiculous practice of imposing LPT on local authorities for their own housing stock. This will prevent the Government taking back some of the housing funding it had previously allocated.


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Paul Clarke, Independent







We have been directly paying for our water since 1997 due to the 'Local Government Financial Provisions Act 1997.' This allowed local authorities to retain a portion of car tax, excise duty and other taxation to go towards the provision of domestic water [see below]. So, by agreeing to pay these water charges, you will be paying again.












AN ACT TO ENABLE LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO ENJOY THE REVENUES FROM DUTIES CHARGED UNDER THE FINANCE (EXCISE DUTIES) (VEHICLES) ACT, 1952 , AND FROM DUTIES AND FEES CHARGED UNDER CERTAIN OTHER ENACTMENTS, TO REMOVE THE POWER OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO MAKE CHARGES FOR THE SUPPLY OF WATER FOR DOMESTIC PURPOSES...

Source: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1997/en/act/pub/0029/