Water Charges Protest-November 3rd 2014
Further to the protest last Saturday in Galway against the water charges, Cllr Connolly said the disconnect between the Government and the people is very obvious.
Indeed Cllr Connolly said the protest in Galway was one of the biggest she had participated in and the absence of any government TDs or indeed any of the government Councillors was noted by all.
Indeed what was significant she said was that the ordinary people of Galway turned out in their thousands to let the government know what they think of water charges.
Further she said the government’s response to-date to this protest and the 100,000 plus that protested throughout the country has highlighted in a most acute way the failure by the Government to grasp the seriousness of this revolt.
Threatening people with penalties and punishment as a response to the protest is infantile in the extreme and also not very effective psychologically.
The government she said is utterly failing to realise that making a commodity of what is an essential life giving resource is the last straw.
Furthermore they are deliberately or otherwise failing to grasp that we already pay for our water services through the payment of taxes and failing to realise that people respond best to positive encouragement.
An excellent example of this was Galway’s success with its recycling rates.
Indeed the people of Galway showed what was possible with recycling rates that were the best in the country and contrary to all the limited targets set by ‘Consultant Engineers’ on behalf of Management.
Remember what happened as a result? –Galway’s wonderful refuse service was privatised earlier this year so the writing is clearly on the wall in relation to the privatisation of water.
On a related issue, Cllr Connolly said she fully agrees with the Green Party’s suggestion that it should be enshrined in the Constitution that water is a basic human necessity and that it cannot be treated as a commodity and privatised.
However she said she does not agree with the Green Party’s policy of paying an extra tax/charge for water, a policy which they have articulated for some time.
In fact she said they articulated a similar policy in relation to a pay by weight policy in relation to refuse and we have seen the result of that policy.