November 3rd: Trade union Unite today (Monday November 3rd) published research showing that, if water user charges are abolished, the Government would still reach its fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent in 2015.
Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“Following Saturday’s nationwide protests organised by the Right2Water campaign, which saw well over 150,000 people take to the streets of our cities, towns and villages to demand the abolition of water charges, the Taoiseach and his Ministers have engaged in an unprecedented campaign of scaremongering, with threats ranging from tax increases to water rationing.
“At the same time, Government Ministers have persistently refused to answer questions in the Dail regarding the budgetary impact of water charges.
“Unite research shows the Government would still reach its deficit target of 3 percent in 2015 if water charges are abolished. Given that, contrary to Government spin, there is no urgent need to introduce the charges, the Government show now bow to popular feeling, abolish the charges, place a full report on the budgetary impact of financing water services before the Dail, and engage in an open public debate about how we finance water services going forward.
Unite research officer Michael Taft added:
“Unite estimates that the removal of water charges will result in less than 0.3 percent of GDP added to the deficit – but at the same time it will promote economic growth through higher consumer spending and raise more tax revenue which will ameliorate the rise in the deficit. This will keep the Government’s deficit target intact without resort to tax increases or spending cuts”, Michael Taft concluded.