Article from the May 2004 edition, Socialist Voice
On 19 September 2003, while Socialist Party reps. Joe Higgins and Clare Daly were hauled off to Mountjoy for a month, Bertie Ahern spoke out and announced that people should pay their bin charges, and not only that, water charges were on the way back as well.
By Katia Hancke
water charges next?
From the very start, Socialist Party members in the anti bin tax campaign pointed out that this was not just about bin charges but about a new system of double taxation on PAYE workers. If they got away with bin charges, water charges would follow suit.
The Socialist Party has now received reliable information that Fingal County Council is preparing to implement a new comprehensive database in preparation for billing householders for water charges. We know that water meters are being installed in houses all over the country.
The Government tried this trick once before: in 1994 they tried to introduce water charges in Fingal, Dublin South and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council. The Socialist Party with thousands of working class people got organized against that double tax. A determined campaign of mass non-payment and political pressure forced the Government's defeat, and water charges were abolished in 1996.
At the last local elections in June 1999 none of the parties mentioned a word about bin charges. The elections were over, the Councillors of the establishment parties went back to their council chambers and within months a bin charge was introduced in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown. The other Councils in Dublin followed suit.
Do they really think they will get away with this again? Keep quiet, get elected and send us the bill?
Let them be warned. If they attempt this double cross, they will face formidable opposition. The Socialist Party for its part intends to use its experience from our previous victory against water charges and from the battle against the bin tax to put a spanner in their works. Getting proven campaigners elected to the Councils is a first step to wreck their plans.