Why are they now trying to sell us with water charges?

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The government may be considering a new approach to the water charges issue at the moment - 20th November. The brute force approach didn't work against us so now they may be trying to be a little smarter about privatising water services. Combined with advertisements extolling the great work Irish Water is doing and RTE leaks of how 'modest' the charges are planned to be, they are hoping to con us into paying for privatisation.

Indications of their new approach may be seen when the minority government party, Fine Gael, recently did not oppose independent TD Joan Collins' bill which called for a referendum to enshrine water services in public ownership. They would likely have lost this vote anyway but it is noteworthy that they didn't oppose it.

The government may be gambling that if they can convince enough people that water will definitely not be privatised, even if they have to allow a referendum or legislation on public water ownership, then people will begin paying water charges. This could be successful if enough people fall for the politicians telling us what we want to hear today, and then wriggling out of it tomorrow when the charges are solidly established because many people objected to water charges primarily because of worries about privatisation.

In the run up to the end of March 2017, when the suspension of water charges is due to be lifted and the government is to have their vote on proposals, we need to have gotten the jump on their new propaganda offensive so that as many people as possible are inoculated against it. We need to reinforce the message that the only way privatisation can be guaranteed to be stopped, is by us refusing to pay the charges.

Fianna Fail have been making noises suggesting that the charges are 'gone' but Fianna Fail aren't exactly the most principled group of people out there, and will orient themselves whichever way the wind is blowing. By the end of March 2017, we hope its not a wind Fianna Fail face, but a hurricane.

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