Press Statement: Anti-Austerity Alliance
Crisis for Government & Irish Water as 57% of households Boycott Water Charges
No penalties or threats until after General Election – Campaigners call on other to boycott Second Bill
Boycott & General Election can be used to bury the government and Irish Water
The Anti-Austerity Alliance has issued the following statement following a report in the Irish Times that 57% of households boycotted the first Irish Water bill, and have encouraged people to maintain the boycott and encouraged those who were scared into paying the first bill to join the boycott.
Paul Murphy TD said “This is a massive victory for the anti-water charges movement and for people power. The government have attempted to scare and brow beat people into paying these charges. Today in the Dail it was clear by the Taoiseach’s reaction to my question on the figures that from their point of view the figures weren’t good. 57% of people, a clear majority have sent them a message that they will not pay these charges. This is now a major political crisis for the government and a crisis for Irish Water.
Ruth Coppinger TD said “The government have tried to introduce legislation to scare and frighten people to break the boycott campaign because they know that the boycott is the weapon which is going to sink Irish Water. Anti-water charger campaigners need to use this to boost and re-organise our local campaigns to maintain the boycott in our areas. We need to make sure that the boycott is maintained. We need to try to convince those who have paid to not pay the second bill. Why would they pay the second bill when they see the mass boycott and that the government is helpless to do anything against it? We need to make sure that people know that there are no penalties until after the general election, that there are no deductions at source like the property tax, that they can’t bring us all to court.”
Joe Higgins TD said “The anger against the water charges and austerity is clear by the sheer scale of this boycott. It is important now that we maintain the boycott until the General Election so that it is the key issue. This will mean that any government which is elected in the face of a massive boycott will be forced to abolish the charges.”