A revolt among the Irish public may be imminent over the Government’s plans to introduce water meters, according to a Dublin socialist TD.
A number of politicians have warned that their constituents will not stand for the charge, which is thought to be around $392 (€300).
"People understand that these combined taxes will quickly go to 1,000 euro and beyond," Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins told the Irish Independent.
"They simply cannot afford it. It's a further destruction of the potential in the economy, intensifying austerity and creating more economic problems. People are absolutely right to oppose it and the campaign will intensify."
"The determination of ordinary people to resist these taxes would be further intensified as a result of the announcement that water meters and water charges are just around the corner," the Dublin TD added.
While the exact costs are yet to be confirmed, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said that householders would have to pay for water meters, but the Government would cover the installation cost.
"The Government will reflect on how to set up an agency to deal with the Programme for Government commitment to having a single water agency to deal with high standards, fixing of all the leaks and as a consequence, to save the taxpayer exceptional amounts of money," said the Prime Minister.
In Galway over the weekend there were turbulent scenes outside the Labour Party conference when protesters broke through a police barrier while expressing their opposition to the newly introduced household tax.
The Irish Times reports an estimated 5,000 people assembled in Galway at around 2pm to march to the conference venue at NUIG. Marchers carried placards with pictures of Labour Party founder James Connolly with the message, “Shame on you, Labour working-class traitors”.
The protesters shouted slogans such as, “No way; we won’t pay!” and carried, “Don’t register, don’t pay” banners.
A copy of the Labour Conference agenda was burned amid chants of “revolution, revolution!”
At one stage, a coffin draped with a Tricolor was carried to the main entrance of the conference with a red Labour rose placed on top of it.
Independent TD Luke Ming Flanagan observed the protests and said, “The Labour Party are paying the price for the lies they told people at the general election”.
Commenting on the clashes between police and protesters he said: “It would be preferable if that didn’t happen: it wasn’t ideal, but people are annoyed”.
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