Water is a human right, essential for life and for all our human needs. As such, water provision and sanitation should not be subject to the profit motive or the free market and should be made available to all, free at the point of use, and on the basis of need, not means.
‘Irish Water PLC’ and domestic water charges will be abolished within the first 100 days of a progressive Government.
‘Irish Water PLC’ will be replaced with a single national water and sanitation board which will be solely responsible for the provision, transmission, sanitation, management and operation of the public water and sanitation supply in the public interest.
This policy will see a full referendum to enshrine a new Article in Bunreacht Na h’Eireann. The date of this referendum would coincide with the establishment of the new national water board.
Article 28 Section 4:2.1
‘The Government shall be collectively responsible for the protection, management and maintenance of the public water system. The Government shall ensure in the public interest that this resource remains in public ownership and management.’
This policy will provide for an end to water meter installation and ensuing costs.
This policy will see conservation measures legislated for including mandatory planning permission requirements, incentivised and subsidised water saving devices, and a public education campaign.
Our water infrastructure is in desperate need of investment in order to upgrade the system and repair leaks. This policy provides for an investment of between €6 and €7 billion to be provided through a progressive taxation model, details of which are available in the accompanying ‘Fiscal Framework Document’.
Funding our water services through progressive taxation measures will ensure citizens always have access to water based on their needs without the possibility of water shut-offs due to unpaid bills in the future. It will also ensure our water services will never be privatised and that Ireland remains with zero water poverty.
- Acknowledgement – The Right2Water Unions acknowledge the support and advice in framing the above referendum position of Seamus O’Tuathail S.C. and Treasa Brannick O’Cillin, candidate Barrister at Law Degree, The Honourable Society of Kings Inns.