Yesterday, many thousands of people held up traffic in Dublin city centre to voice their displeasure at Irish Water and water charges.
Per the link above:
All of the protesters that I have seen before seem to have extremely expensive phones, tablets, video cameras
It’s hard to know what her point is. Probably the obvious one is an implication that the protesters are probably poor so how do they have such expensive stuff?
But that relies on a bunch of assumptions: that all the protesters are poor and I’m not sure that’s a safe assumption. Also, anyone who has tried to negotiate the Byzantine array of phone options available in Ireland will be aware that it is possible to get a very good phone for not very much money.
The issue, as far as I can see it, is that the protests are being filmed. So the question I would like Joan Burton to answer is this: why does it bother her that protesters are recording the protests?
It doesn’t bother me too much. And the thing is, I am not actually against water charges per se; I just think they way they have been implemented here has been unnecessarily complex and disorganised. Our water authority is playing fast and loose with semantics – what is a bonus if not a performance related reward? The messing around with the idea of allowances has enabled Irish Water to request PPS numbers. In principle, I am against factors which make a system complex – and the system of allowances does. What would be more useful is a lower usage charge and none of this messing around with household allowances (which are house related) and child allowances (which are individual child related). I’m tired of being told that if I live alone the allowance will cover X of my needs when a) I don’t live alone and b) the vast majority of adults who don’t have children don’t either. This is meaningless.
At the end of the day, it should not be difficult to set up a utility to charge for water, reduce income tax to cater for that and then make sure we have a simple usage based model. After all, we already have gas and electricity utilities.