Water charges: Working people need to be vigilant

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland 
12 April 2017

The Communist Party of Ireland stated on the 6th of April that working people need to be vigilant regarding the current Government’s manoeuvring in relation to water charges. We stated that the Government and the European Union would take time to regroup and “relaunch their counter-strategy.” 
     This can be seen in the about-turn of Fianna Fáil in agreeing to allow meters in new houses and agreeing to the allow “excess usage charges,” which differs greatly from their position at the water committee meeting last week. This counter-strategy is what is being played out in the Dáil today in the “Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water.” 
     The establishment parties—Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Labour Party—are using legal opinion and EU directives to push forward their agenda. This is nothing more than a crude effort to blow smoke in people’s eyes as they subvert the wishes of the Irish people regarding water charges. 
     Working people need to remember that laws in our society are nothing more than congealed politics. That is why workers have few rights but all the obligations, while employers, owners of wealth, have all their rights protected and have few if any responsibilities. 
     Our statement of the 6th of April also pointed out that the “establishment have constantly tried to draw the people’s demands into the quagmire of Dáil procedures and committees—into structures and processes that they control. This is a tactic designed to negate the demands and will of the people and make them submit to corporate needs and power.” From the debacle in the Dáil committee today, this is more obvious than ever. 
     The fight to win an end to water charges and a constitutional amendment is far from over. Working people need to keep up political campaigning and pressure. Through organised protests, we have made great advances, but now is not the time to stand on the sidelines and watch parliamentary manoeuvring rob us of our victory.