Where’s the water charge money coming from…

As we reported earlier, the Chancellor’s new money currently covering a stay of execution on Water Bills for about six months. In this regard at least, interparty negotiations will less focus on difference, and more on getting the kinds of concessions they each promised their various electorates. Investment in water infrastructure is a long term issue, and money may have to be wrung from closer to home that 11 Downing Street.

  • Liam Og

    12.5% corporation tax, a dropping of the increase in commerial prooperty rates, and a gradually weaning of NI from public money is needed.

    Can a coalition government, especially one with a ‘socialist’ partner, really make the painful decisions required to turn the NI economy, mired in the late 60s, into something ready for the 21st century?

  • willowfield

    I don’t see why water charges have engendered such opposition. Sure, the method of raising them is unfair (there should be metering), but opposition seems to be as much against the concept as the method.

    I think the way forward is for the new DUP-Provo coalition to seek to extract a large, one-off capital sum from the Treasury to cover major infrastructure improvements on the grounds that the infrastructure has been neglected by the Government for the past few decades.

    This money should then allow the charges to be reduced. But it’s not reasonable to expect charges to be waived when everyone else in the UK pays for water.

    As for the argument that we paid for water through the rates: this is partly true, since part of the regional rate was used as a top-up to general taxation supposedly to pay for services removed from local government in 1973. In reality, though, the money raised just went into a big pot and was not enough to pay for all those ex-local government services.

    The services in question, then, have been subsidised by the Treasury for many years. In short, we have been getting off lightly for quite a while. That is why our rates bills have been so much lower than those in GB. (And still are, I believe, despite recent increases.)

    So what should happen with rates? Ideally, the services they are supposed used to fund should be returned to local government, and local government should be responsible for costing and charging for them in the rates. Councils would then be properly accountable to the voters for how they run their services.

    If that does not happen, the services should at least be clearly identified and costed, and the regional rate struck to pay for those costs – nothing more, nothing less. No more “big pot” which makes it impossible to know exactly what are rates are paying for.

  • Liam Gordon

    Rather than pissing away the peace dividend on supplying another fix to our pampered public sector employees (aka “dodos”), let’s use this money create a hotbed for innovation, research and novel ideas- things that are damn difficult to outsource.

    A short sharp shock- break and remould. Go to sleep a stogy, quasi-command economy, and wake up on the road to the future.

    Stop giving grants to Korean DVD makers. Stop encouraging manufacturing MacJobs- just because you are making a medical device or a drug, does not mean you have any claim on the cash stream. Banging a nut into a Model T, did not allow you access to Ford’s riches and a secure future. Packaging teflon hips or powedered drugs into capsules, does not give you a claim on their cash stream.

    Thick, research, develop and patent. Take venture monies form a company and change the future….

    Or, lets blow $1B on a 6 month rebate on a water bill we don’t like.