Sunday, June 12, 2011

Water Tax – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay

Louise MinihanOn Monday, June 13, Dublin City Council will debate an emergency anti-water and household tax motion that has been submitted by éirígí City Councillor Louise Minihan. The text of the motion reads:

That this council condemns the decision by the Minister for Environment Phil Hogan to introduce:
  • Water meters to every home in the state;
  • A flat rate household charge which is a property tax in all but name.
Both measures outlined by the government are in reality, unjustifiable stealth taxes. The notion that the government hands are tied on these matters exposes that it is the EU/IMF that is in total control of this state.

This council also recognises that at the end of 2010 45,000 households were in mortgage arrears, 443,400 people are unemployed and the introduction of these charges and will only serve to push struggling families further into poverty and hardship.

At a time when the communities we represent are suffering from the effects of an economic crisis that they were not responsible for creating, it is the role of elected representatives to use their platform to serve the interest of the people, and not the agenda of a wealthy elite, or the greed of EU/IMF – which is the only agenda that can be served by the imposition of unjust stealth taxes, that will hit hardest those, who can least afford to pay it.

Dublin City Council is committed to opposing any introduction of water charges, the so-called ‘interim household charge’ and the eventual introduction of a property tax.

To coincide with the debate éirígí Baile Átha Cliath have organised a public protest which will take place outside of City Hall beginning at 6.30pm. Join with us in sending a message to Fine Gael and Labour – ‘Water Tax? We can’t pay and we won’t pay!’

Speaking in advance of the protest, Louise Minihan said, “The corporate media and the political establishment attempted to portray the result of the last general election as some sort of democratic revolution. But now, just four months later, it is clear for all to see that nothing has changed. Fine Gael and Labour have simply picked up where Fianna Fáil left off. There hasn’t even been the slightest shift in policy, never mind a democratic revolution.

“The proposed new water and household taxes are just the latest mechanisms for the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Instead of making corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share the Dublin government are choosing to attack ordinary families who are already struggling to survive. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Anti-water charges stall in Ballyfermot, July 2010“There is no doubt that many people who were terrified by the scale and speed of the economic collapse believed the lies of Fine Gael and Labour in the run up to the general election. On an almost daily basis those lies are now being exposed.”

Minihan continued, “Fine Gael and Labour are now claiming that they are being forced by the EU and IMF to introduce the proposed water and household taxes. This is just another lie. The right-wing political establishment have been attempting to introduce a domestic water tax for at least a decade. The EU/IMF bailout has given them the perfect excuse to do so, whilst claiming that they are being forced to do so by external forces.

“The last general election changed nothing. And it is highly likely that the next general election will change nothing either. The people of the Twenty-Six Counties need to follow the example of the Greeks and other Europeans who are mobilising in their millions to resist the so called austerity measures of the right wing. We in éirígí are committed to playing our part in the campaign of opposition to the water and household taxes and the wider struggle for a real democratic revolution. I would encourage everyone who can do so to join our protest outside of City Hall on Monday night.”

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