Water Charges: We Are Winning!
A clear majority of people have endorsed the message sent out by People Before Profit and Anti-Austerity Alliance. This figure is even more remarkable because some of the more ‘moderate elements’ in the Right to Water campaign did not back the call for a boycott.
The Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, for example, stated publicly that he was against a boycott. The unions who supported the campaign did not publicly promote a boycott.
However the mass of people have shown tremendous courage in resisting the propaganda and bully boy tactics of the government. Now is the time to kill off Irish Water.
We are facing a frightened government who try to hide behind bluster and threats – but are afraid to do anything to the non-payers. They have retreated so much that they have put into their own legislation that:
- You cannot be jailed for not paying water charges;
- You cannot have your water turned off or turned down to a trickle;
- Money cannot automatically be deducted from wages or social welfare;
- They have to wait at least two years before they can move against non-payers.
All of these moves show that they have little confidence for challenging the boycott movement.
Of course, this will change if the right wing parties win the next election. They have only made a tactical retreat – but this retreat has given us a chance to kill off Irish Water even before the next government is formed.
This is why People Before Profit says,
- Get the message out that we need to boycott the second quarterly water bill that is due out shortly.
- Prepare for a massive mobilisation on August 29th to show that we aim to destroy Irish Water.
The coming elections represent a chance for us to build a new political movement in Ireland- we need a radical left that will stand up to the bullies and build the movement on the streets. That’s why you should vote radical left in the coming elections; it’s time for a real change.
Right 2 Housing
With 100,000 families on the housing list across the country, record numbers of people living in utterly inadequate emergency accommodation and rents spiralling out of control, we urgently need a radical housing campaign to pressure the government to build council houses and introduce rent controls.
In October, the government announced a new plan to tackle the crisis and not only has nothing happened, the plan itself is hopelessly flawed. Rather than announce an emergency council house building programme, the government has decided to pour money into providing homes for those in need via private landlords. Of the 110,000 houses announced, at least 75,000 will be via a new RAS-style programme called the Housing Assistance Payment. The rest of the plan involves only tiny numbers of directly built council houses.
The new plan also does absolutely nothing about the rents crisis that is behind the steady flow of people into homeless services.
People Before Profit is building a campaign to demand immediate action on the housing crisis. We argue for an emergency government programme to provide social and affordable housing to all that need it. The Housing Action Campaign in the 1970s was a campaign of People Power that forced the government to build 60,000 council houses. We need a similar campaign today.