Protests against Irish water charges continue as hundreds of Irish citizens take to the streets to fight against the governments charges for water. Charges were introduced in 2015 and have received severe public backlash since their announcement.
These protests have been occurring as long as the charges have been around, only growing over time as more frustrated citizens demand to be heard by the government. Many ministers are against the charges as well, with Fianna Fail particularly vocal about their distaste for the charges and goals of having them abolished.
Unhappy with the current state of Ireland and the government guided path towards the future, some are also seeing the protests as a way of expressing their other issues with the government. Be it the housing crisis or other taxes they see as unfit.
An expert commission was tasked with making recommendations for a sustainable long-term model for funding wastewater and domestic water services to later be seen and evaluated by the Oireachtas. The commission’s report (pdf) was published in November 2016. The Oireachtas later created its own recommendations which were published on April 12th, 2017.
Domestic water charges were suspended for 9 months, from July 1st 2016 to March 31st 2017, with no charging or billing of domestic customers during that time. Though the suspension has been extended for a further 4 months by the Water Services Act (Extension of Suspension of Domestic Water Charges) Order 2017.
Despite their suspension, citizens have shown no sign of stopping the protests until the charges have been abolished altogether.
Featured image credit: Irish Mirror