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(en) Workers Solidarity #77 - Water tax in Northern Ireland Get your hands out of our pockets

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 28 Sep 2003 09:20:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Northern Irish homes are to be subjected to a tax on water, unless
enough of us get together to stop the government's plan. Friday
20th June saw the end of the "consulation" period, not that the
government was doing much "consulting" with us - because they
had already said that the next announcement would be about how
to pay this tax! The decision had been made before they pretended
to listen to our opinions about whether or not such a tax should be introduced.
The Government wants us to pay not once but twice. We already
pay for domestic water through the rates. If we have to pay water
charges as well, that's a double payment.

Unlike in the South, where there was a "waiver" scheme for
pensioners and unemployed, there will be no help with payment for
those on benefits.

Remember, when they try to scam us with talk of bringing us into
line with the rest of the UK, that people in Northern Ireland have
less income and a higher cost of living than people anywhere else
in the UK. We pay more for food, fuel and childcare. Wages are,
on average, 20% less. Put all their excuses aside, and you are left
with one simple fact - they want to screw more money out of us.

The passing of the Government deadline was marked in Belfast
with a bit of direct action at the Water Service Depot on the Old
Westland Road. People from Communities Against the Water Tax
(CAWT) picketed the depot at the start of the day's shift.

Getting the campaign off to a good start, none of the workers
crossed the picket line. Water workers are facing up to 600
redundancies as part of this 'tax and privatise' plan. Later that day
there was a protest outside the Department of Regional
Development offices in Belfast as trade unionists handed in
thousands of petitions opposing the charge.

Boycotting the bills is the way to win. We will see politicians,
especially those from Sinn Fein and the PUP, stating their
opposition to the tax. But talk is cheap. Will Gerry Adams or
David Ervine actually call for non-payment, will their party
activists get involved in the campaign?

If we want to be sure of having a campaign with a real chance of
winning, ordinary householders will have to build it. The people
who have formed CAWT want to do just that. A similar campaign
in the mid-1990s defeated the water tax in the south.

We can do the same here. Contact Communities Against the
Water Tax, 54 Manor Street, Belfast BT14 6EA.

Joe King

On the Bin Tax http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html

On the Dublin campaign against water charges

This page is from the print version of the
Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

Print out the PDF file of this issue

Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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