Mandate members urged to attend National Demonstration this Saturday, 17th September 2016

Wednesday 14 September 2016
All Mandate Trade Union members are urged to attend the Right2Water National Demonstration against water charges this Saturday, 17th September 2016.
There are three assembly points: Connolly Station, Heuston Station and Sir John Rogersons Quay, where there will be an anti-tax avoidance march alongside the Right2Water demo.
Water charges are an affront to democracy
Two out of every three members of Dáil Éireann were elected with a mandate to abolish unfair water charges in the 2016 General Election.

Despite this overwhelming majority, the Irish government is refusing to listen to the electorate and scrap the charges. Instead, an “expert panel” has been established – hand-picked by a Minister who supports water charges – to deliver a report with the hope of giving Irish Water a lifeline.
If it’s not about privatisation, where is our referendum?
An even larger majority were returned to the Dáil stating they would like a referendum to enshrine public ownership of our water in the Constitution. Despite this, the government is refusing to allow that referendum. If it’s not about selling our water over to private investors, prove us wrong, give us the referendum.

Remember, in the UK, since their water was privatised in 1989, the price of water charges has gone up by 313% – almost DOUBLE the average of all other goods, while profits and dividends to shareholders are at more than €2 billion. We must prevent privatisation now!
The EU
The EU Commission is on record as saying, “The Commission believes that the privatisation of public utilities, including water supply firms, can deliver benefits to the society when carefully made. To this end, privatisation should take place one the appropriate regulatory framework has been prepared to avoid abuses by private monopolies.” Essentially, they are saying Irish Water should be privatised and the sector should be opened up to other private companies. Under the Water Framework Directive, Ireland is exempt from domestic water charges but the EU Commission has decided to intervene in Irish democracy stating that water should be paid for through domestic water charges irrespective of the will of the Irish people. We know their real agenda is privatisation.
Saturday, 17th September 2016 is European day against TTIP and CETA, two international trade agreements that are currently being negotiated between the EU and the US and Canada respectively. These agreements are a danger to our water services along with our workplace rights, health and safety standards, environmental protections, public services and much more. The agreements have a private court where corporations can sue sovereign governments for introducing measures that protect their citizens.
Water poverty
Ireland is currently the only country in Europe with zero water poverty. Our government want to change that and introduce this new form of poverty to the Irish people. Remember, according to the government’s own figures, when the cap ends in 2018, the costs of water will probably have to double in order to meet the EU market corporation test. And that’s just the beginning…
In Solidarity,
John Douglas,
General Secretary
Mandate Trade Union