Latest News & Updates

Water charges - Reject hollow threats

24/02/07

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has reacted angrily to the posting of ‘indicative’ bills to every household in the Six Counties by the British government’s ‘Water Service’.

Water Charges are set to be introduced in the North in April this year, despite the fact that householders already pay for their water through local taxation. However, organised anger is growing at the proposed charges and they are increasingly seen as a Trojan horse for the privatisation of the water system.

Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU Peter Bunting expressed his astonishment at the brass-neck of the latest British initiative. ‘This document is duplicitous in so many ways that one scarcely knows where to start. What is especially unnerving is that the Water Service are supposed to be holding a public consultation on their charges scheme. The consultation process ends on March 5th and yet, one month before the deadline, the Water Service act as if the process is done and dusted.’

He added, ‘Now is the time to show the Water Service the same contempt. Every household has received two items that the Water Service depend upon to make their scheme work. There is a Direct Debit form and there is an addressed envelope, which also requires a postage stamp.
We urge the public to use those items to show their contempt. Do not fill out or sign the Direct Debit form, and send it back, blank and unsigned, in the envelope provided. Then, ensure that you do not affix a stamp.’

Peter continued, ‘If thousands of people show their defiance to the diktats of the Water Service in this manner, it will cost the Water Service thousands of pounds in postage bills. More importantly, it will be a response to the Water Service’s contempt for the public consultation process. It will send a message to the (British) government and the Water Service that the public are too smart to be taken in by the hollow threats, the fraudulent ‘phased payment’ process and the cavalier attitude they have shown towards consultation.’

Welcoming the ICTU initiative, Belfast éirígí activist Pádraig Ó Meiscill said, ‘Given that the ICTU represents 36 trade unions and over 200,000 members across the Six Counties, this move is very encouraging.  If trade unionists in large numbers follow this advice the British government’s charges plan will be in serious difficulty.  The increasing level of activity in communities and trade unions in the North against the proposed charges is hugely positive.  Despite claims to the contrary, non-payment of these unjust charges is a viable option and probably the only one which can lead to their defeat.’

Donate to éirígí
If you would like to support éirígí you can download a standing order form here

Donate to éirígí

Email Us
If you would like to be informed of website updates and current campaigns let us know by clicking here


Download
Download Adobe Reader here to view archived documents.

Join éirígí
If you are interested in joining éirígí or have any questions about membership e-mail membership@eirigi.org or phone 086 236 7298

Contact Us

“If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!”

Archives