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 Water, Privatisation and the EU

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PostSubject: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:37 am



Littler challenge:

Describe the legislative process(es) by which Irish schools are obliged to buy water for their taps and toilets?
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:48 am

Helium Three wrote:
Littler challenge:

Describe the legislative process(es) by which Irish schools are obliged to buy water for their taps and toilets?

Heavens, He3, have you fallen for Fianna Fáil propaganda? I thought better of you...that particular argument is a bit of a busted flush:

Quote :
Ms Hanafin said today that she had been urging the Department of the
Environment to agree to an allowance or threshold below which schools
would not be charged.
She told RTÉ radio that when the
directive was negotiated in 1999 Ireland had sought a derogation from
applying charges for schools and homes.
In what became known in
Brussels as "the Irish clause", it was agreed that domestic charges
could be waived. "But we didn't win the argument for the schools which
unfortunately is why they are being levied," Ms Hanafin said.
However,
The Irish Times this
morning reported a senior European Commission official saying Ireland
was entitled under the terms of the derogation it negotiated from the
directive to waive a charge to schools.

"I do not really see
schools having a serious impact on the purposes of the directive . . .
I don't see, really, that this is so much of an issue," Jorge Rodríguez
Romero of the environment directorate general said.

Labour education spokesman Ruairí Quinn said the Government was hiding behind the European Commission.
"Not
only is it dishonest in itself, according to reports from the EU
Commission, but it also fuels the kind of prejudice that will
strengthen the No vote
in the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum
campaign," Mr Quinn said.

Looks like Ruairi was quite right - not that you're anti-EU, of course, I'm sure. Still, you continue to be one of my primary sources of misinformation*.

* my prediction is in a sealed envelope.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:55 am

Well ibis, in fairness, you are a very good source of information, but not a very good source of opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:56 am

I suppose there must be some connection between my question and what you posted after it but an answer to the question it ain't.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:02 am

Helium Three wrote:
I suppose there must be some connection between my question and what you posted after it but an answer to the question it ain't.

Very straightforward - the EU did not mandate that schools pay water charges, although they are large consumers. The Irish government has a derogation for domestic use that would cover schools, but does not use it, as far as I can see because then it would have to pay for the water use.

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well ibis, in fairness, you are a very good source of information, but not a very good source of opinion.

I'm not quite certain what to make of that!


Last edited by ibis on Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:03 am

Strike two!
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:07 am

Helium Three wrote:
Strike two!

And will sir be attempting to answer any of my questions? Or does sir prefer sarkily handing out points?
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:02 am

I co-authored the following article back in October of 2006, approximately a year before water bills for schools became an issue. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79249

The comments are quite interesting too, though the trolling is somewhat off putting.

The crux of the issue is that the European Water Framework Directive, does allow for water charges. However, the EU is not to blame for schools paying water bills. As with all other EU directives, the Irish Government has cherrypicked the bits it liked and has used poetic license regarding how they interpret such directives.

Make no mistake, water charges are on the way big time, and in truth, billing schools and old folks homes etc. is but a massive red herring to facilitate these charges being levelled on members of the public generally. Along will come big business to save the day by taking over and providing 'our' water for cheaper. Privatisation by stealth, by allowing the fruit to rot on the vines, so that in the end, we'll be begging for privatisation.

FF and their henchmen (all the other parties) are pushing this agenda and none are blind to the full implications. The EU is merely a means to an end in this instance. Ask yourselves: who gets any revenue that is generated from the sale of water?
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:06 am

Hi Hermes, it would be easier to read your posts if I could take my eyes off your horribly riveting avatar: any chance of a change of dress?

Yes, I think you are making a good point re water privatisation - building regs requirement for water metering is along the same lines.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:17 am

It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:20 am

Apart from for those of you bold wans living in "unsustainable" one-off houses with wells.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:30 am

cactus flower wrote:
Hi Hermes, it would be easier to read your posts if I could take my eyes off your horribly riveting avatar: any chance of a change of dress?

Done. Sorry bout that.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:41 pm

ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:47 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:51 pm

cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

FF used to oppose it but they changed their tune.
Dempsey's move against privatising bus routes, The failure of ComReg to deliver broadband, the growing realisation the too much was given away with Eircom and Cowen's reputed distrust of quangos all suggest the pendulum is on the return swing. All eyes are on the ESB.


Last edited by Zhou_Enlai on Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Refine)
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:15 pm

cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

Yes, in theory, just today I was contemplating the Green Party's thoughts on energy sector, but the general tendency has been towards privatisation.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:20 pm



WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

Yes, in theory, just today I was contemplating the Green Party's thoughts on energy sector, but the general tendency has been towards privatisation.

I thought the Greens saw water charges as an incentive to conserve water, and were in favour?
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:25 pm

cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

Yes, in theory, just today I was contemplating the Green Party's thoughts on energy sector, but the general tendency has been towards privatisation.

I thought the Greens saw water charges as an incentive to conserve water, and were in favour?

Yes, apparently they do. But as it happens charges don't per se equate with privatisation. It's perfectly possible for funding to be drawn from charges that would go to publicly owned utilities. I'm not entirely averse to the incentivising argument.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:31 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

Yes, in theory, just today I was contemplating the Green Party's thoughts on energy sector, but the general tendency has been towards privatisation.

I thought the Greens saw water charges as an incentive to conserve water, and were in favour?

Yes, apparently they do. But as it happens charges don't per se equate with privatisation. It's perfectly possible for funding to be drawn from charges that would go to publicly owned utilities. I'm not entirely averse to the incentivising argument.

Its a difficult one, isn't it. Incentivisation to save money by water conservation would probably work, but would be hell for people ( and schools ) who don't have money.

BTW: I am always giving out about c****y government employees, but so many thanks to the wonderful team of operatives and engineers who came on a Saturday morning and dug up the footpath beside my front wall and quenched the enormous fountain that had erupted there: Respect!bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:51 pm

cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...

Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

Yes, in theory, just today I was contemplating the Green Party's thoughts on energy sector, but the general tendency has been towards privatisation.

I thought the Greens saw water charges as an incentive to conserve water, and were in favour?

Yes, apparently they do. But as it happens charges don't per se equate with privatisation. It's perfectly possible for funding to be drawn from charges that would go to publicly owned utilities. I'm not entirely averse to the incentivising argument.

Its a difficult one, isn't it. Incentivisation to save money by water conservation would probably work, but would be hell for people ( and schools ) who don't have money.

BTW: I am always giving out about c****y government employees, but so many thanks to the wonderful team of operatives and engineers who came on a Saturday morning and dug up the footpath beside my front wall and quenched the enormous fountain that had erupted there: Respect!bounce

You know that's another very interesting point you make there. If one does go the charges route, while that's fine for some sections of the population, the danger is that it then stratifies populations into those who can pay, those who can't and/or require subventions and following on from that the inevitable cut off points where those subventions kick in, issues of the psychology of it all, and the dangers of embedding people in mindsets where they're always on the thin end of the wedge...

In other words, how can we be certain that the social effects of money taken directly from taxation are worse than the hardships charges can impose (and indeed the social division/stratification)?
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:02 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
ibis wrote:
It's a sad fact that, while there is no need for water charges to lead to privatisation, in the current environment there is almost no chance of them not doing so.

That's a very important point. And worse again this dynamic simply isn't going to fade away any time soon - whoever is in government in the RoI...


Is there no party in Ireland opposed to privatisation of infrastructure?

Yes, in theory, just today I was contemplating the Green Party's thoughts on energy sector, but the general tendency has been towards privatisation.

I thought the Greens saw water charges as an incentive to conserve water, and were in favour?

Yes, apparently they do. But as it happens charges don't per se equate with privatisation. It's perfectly possible for funding to be drawn from charges that would go to publicly owned utilities. I'm not entirely averse to the incentivising argument.

Its a difficult one, isn't it. Incentivisation to save money by water conservation would probably work, but would be hell for people ( and schools ) who don't have money.

BTW: I am always giving out about c****y government employees, but so many thanks to the wonderful team of operatives and engineers who came on a Saturday morning and dug up the footpath beside my front wall and quenched the enormous fountain that had erupted there: Respect!bounce

You know that's another very interesting point you make there. If one does go the charges route, while that's fine for some sections of the population, the danger is that it then stratifies populations into those who can pay, those who can't and/or require subventions and following on from that the inevitable cut off points where those subventions kick in, issues of the psychology of it all, and the dangers of embedding people in mindsets where they're always on the thin end of the wedge...

In other words, how can we be certain that the social effects of money taken directly from taxation are worse than the hardships charges can impose (and indeed the social division/stratification)?

From my point of view, good clean water is a basic test of how we are doing as a society, and is best organised collectively.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:48 pm

the eu site is quite complex,has much more info then the dail site but its nightmare to navigate
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:54 pm

Looking at examples elsewhere, unfortunately water privatisation and corporate control leads to an increase in water wastage and no great appreciable change in usage (water being like electricity in that regard). Demand for water is inelastic in other words* so reduction in consumption will only be slight.

And if you were to try and really increase that reduction then you're talking about turning off the taps to people, which is completely out of order. In that situation I would advocate teams of plumbers turning them back on....

So I don't see the need for water charges particularly when it will lead to private enclosure and a worse case wrt the environment.


*
a luxury it aint!

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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:01 pm

I can see why corporate control on water can fail to lead to usage reduction, but I don't understand how it can lead to a waste increase.
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PostSubject: Re: Water, Privatisation and the EU   Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:11 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I can see why corporate control on water can fail to lead to usage
reduction, but I don't understand how it can lead to a waste increase.


Short answer is that it's not profitable to maintain the water infrastructure. One tenet of privatisation is
sacking employees who maintain the system. The effects of which was highlighted by a number of BBC Panoramas recently which highlighted the high degree of water wastage.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/5235198.stm


And it's not just in developed nations that we've seen this. When Veolia or whatever go to, say Tanzania or Bolivia (two good examples) the same can be seen. The corporates were thrown out in both cases.

In fact, I think water has gone from private to public and back again a number of times now in the UK? I could be wrong on that of course.
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