The Workers' Party today made a formal submission to the Department of
the Environment in response to the government's recently published position paper on reform of the water sector in Ireland.
Speaking this afternoon (Friday), Workers' Party President Michael Finnegan
said that it was not with any sense of confidence in influencing government policy that the submission was being made but
to put the party's position on the record and to put forward alternatives privatisation.
Mr. Finnegan said that the governmnent's consultation process on water
was a charade as it was clear that Fine Gael and Labour in government were completely wedded to privatisation and that it
was doing so on a gradual basis purely for optics.
"The Workers Party has put it on the record that we are totally opposed
to privatisation of water and sewerage services. Where they have been privatised, especially in Britain and other European
countries, these services have been severely compromised and public health has been endangered. Privatisation is a charter
for profiteering, not a solution to problems which have in any case been caused by decades of under-investment in water and
sewerage services", said Mr. Finnegan.
The Workers Party submission outlines the historical development of public
water and wastewater services and their importance to human health and hygiene. It points to the disaster caused by
privatisation elsewhere and identifies the global trends towards treating an essential life sustaining resource into a commodity.
The party is strongly opposed to water metering which it regards as a
forerunner to water charges and has called for state investment in the public water and sewerage infrastructure as model Ireland