Water Tax is a big issue in this election, although since they are all against it (albeit for different reasons) it remains to be seen whether it will determine the final destination of any votes at all is another matter. Anyway, the ICTU is organising a meeting in Grosvenor House, Glengall Street (an historic address to conjure with) in an effort to organise a non payment of bills campaign, for when the bills arrive on April Fools Day:
The Trade Union campaign for non-payment of water charges is contributing to a public event as follows:
VENUE: Grosvenor House, Glengall Street, Belfast
DATE: Tuesday 27 February 2007
There will be speakers from three campaigning groups dedicated to preventing the implementation of Water Charges from next April Fools’ Day. NIPSA General Secretary John Corey will speak on behalf of the NI Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Other speakers confirmed are Frances Dowds of the Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network and Manus Maguire of Communities Against the Water Tax.
At the meeting, Mr Corey will make an unequivocal case for mass non-payment of water charges, to which the Trade Union Movement is committed. Mr Corey will emphasise the importance of acting now to build mass-non payment of water charges and keep water as an affordable public good.
“The real bills will arrive in April or May. In the weeks to then we have to ensure that we get the message to every household in Northern Ireland to unite behind the trade unions and refuse to pay these unfair charges.
“Direct Rule Ministers cannot see any further than their own constituents in Britain. Ministers think that if their constituents pay for water to a privatised company then we in Northern Ireland should have to do the same.
“These Ministers need to learn that the people of Northern Ireland can think for themselves. The people know right from wrong. I also believe the Assembly election provides the opportunity to put this key issue squarely in front of all political parties.
“We can urge voters to demand of these politicians on the door step and at their meetings, that they back publicly the campaign of non-payment.”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty