Just some of my thoughts on the Myths/Lies out there regarding Irish Water for anybody that’s interested.
If you are up to it I would suggest that you also read the Water Services Act 2007/2013 before making up your mind as to what you want to do.Knowledge is power. When all is said and done, it is your choice, regardless of what the Government or Media would have you believe. I hope this will help to dispel a lot fear people have due to lies, myths and half-truths being put out there by vested interest groups.
Myth 1 - Irish Water now control the supply of water in Ireland.
No, they don’t. The Act states that the Government have EXTENDED some of the functions of the Water Services Authorities (Councils) to the Water Metering Authority (Irish Water). It's important to note the word "extended". Notice it does not say the word “replaced”. So, unless you consent to enter into a contract with Irish Water, the Water Services Authority will still continue to supply you with YOUR water. Irish Water are a “metering” (billing) company.
Myth 2 – They will cut off my water if I don’t pay/Turn it down to a trickle.
This is a lie that was put out there by non-other than Mr Phil Hogan. The act PROHIBITS both the Water Services Authority & the Water Metering Authority, either permanently or temporarily, from turning off/down your water in respect to a dwelling. A Dwelling being a place where people live as opposed to another type of premises such as an office where people work (But they can do it if the premises is not a dwelling.) There are various phone calls posted on youtube where Irish Water confirm this to be a fact, and quote “we don’t know why Phil Hogan said that”[regarding turning down the pressure for non-payment].
Myth 3 – It's now the law, I have to sign up with Irish Water.
No, you don’t. You are under no legal obligation to enter into a Treaty with ANY private company against your will. This is the nub of the issue. There is nothing in either the 2007 or 2013 act to COMPEL a private citizen to sign up to Irish Water. Even if there was, it with would run contrary to the Constitution, Irish Consumer Law, and European Law, and would therefore be completely unenforceable (illegal). Regardless of what laws the Government pass, you are still a free citizen with Constitutional Rights (to Property, Privacy, and Protest). They cannot pass ANY law that will limit, or remove these rights from you. They only way the could do this is by holding a referendum. Again, your consent is required for the scam to work. It is not like the Property Tax that was administered by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. Irish Water are a Private Limited company and have no authority to dip into your finances without your consent.
Myth 4 – Irish Water is not a Private Company
While the shares of Irish Water are currently held by the Irish Government, Irish Water is still a private company (Registered No: 530363). Not to mention the fact that we cannot trust that Fine Gael, or any other future Government, will not sell off these shares to Private operators, as they have done in the past with Bord Gais, ESB, Eircom, and AerLingus. “We promise not to sell it..” Just like Labours “We promise not to introduce Water Charges”. While it is true that it is currently illegal to sell Irish Water, or any part of it, there is nothing stopping this Government, or any future one, from changing the law to MAKE IT LEGAL. The 2013 Water Act was signed into law on Christmas Day! What does that tell you?
Myth 5 – I have to give Irish Water my PPS number
No, you don’t. Irish Water are now a listed organisation by the Department of Social Protection. This DOES NOT mean that they automatically have access to your PPS number and other details. It simply means that if you sign up to them, YOU are GIVING THEM CONSENT to access, and otherwise use as THEY see fit, your personal, financial, medical and social (PPS) information. Scary isn’t it! If you notify Irish Water that you are not their customer, and that you have NO intention of entering into a contract, they cannot access your private information. This is important, as you must clearly state your intent.
Myth 6 – Irish Water will take any money owed from my wages,
bank, income, or social welfare
No, they can’t. In the Water Acts its states that monies can be recovered as a “Simple Contract Debt”. Meaning they would have to take you to court. First, they would have to prove that you are their customer, then, that a contract exists, and that you agreed to the price/T&C's, and that you are now simply refusing to pay. So, they will claim, you are in breach of said contract. If they cannot establish that a valid contract exists, the case will never go as far as Court! They would have no legal standing! So, DO NOT FILL OUT THE "APPLICATION" PACK - No Consent. No Contract. Simple...
Myth 7 – The meter is the contract
No, it is not! When they are putting in the meter, please ensure that you have a sign in your window, or inform the Installer either orally, or in writing, that you are not, and have no intention of becoming, an Irish Water customer, and to refrain from installing a meter. If they install the meter anyway, send Irish Water a letter (preferably by registered post) telling them that you are NOT a customer of theirs, and that the meter, or any readings taken from it “will not be construed as a contract either explicit or implied”. Also, if you wish, you may advise Irish Water that the meter will be considered abandoned property, whether its on public or private land, it is connected to your house, and that they have 21 days to remove the device or you will remove it, and destroy it, “without prejudice or liability” (this last bit means they cannot charge you for the cost of the meter if you remove it or destroy it).
Myth 8 – My landlord can force me to sign up
No, s/he can’t. A landlord (or Letting Agency for that matter) has NO business, or legal authority, to ask you for your PPS details and they certainly CANNOT sign you into a private contract with a third party without your consent. No more than I could sign any of you up to a Credit Card company, because, well, I said so! And so what if they have clauses in the lease agreement stating that they can? They cannot enter any term or condition in the lease agreement that would deprive you of your legal rights, as a citizen or as a consumer. While the PRTB are asking landlords/letting agencies to gather PPS numbers to register tenants, it turns out that this little practice is entirely ILLEGAL!
Myth 9 – Irish Water will pay to fix problems on my property (once off)
Reports are coming in from all over Ireland to say that Irish Water are already reneging on this. People are posting online that they have to pay to get their driveways dug up to fix large leaks, because the issue is on “their property" and therefore not the responsibility of Irish Water!
People, you have the law on your side. Use it wisely! —- I have decided not to consent to become a customer of Irish Water, now what?
Well, that’s a fantastic question. At the time of writing, no organisation has responded to this question for me. On Irish Water’s website it states that if you do not return a completed application pack you are not their customer. So for you, it’s business as usual.
You will still get your water via your current supplier, the Water Services Authority (Council). There is a reason why the Government, and Irish Water, as well as other groups will not answer this question, it is because IT’S ALL PART OF THE SCAM. “Sign-up, or else” “Or else what?” “Nothing, your were supposed to just sign up!”
Finally, I hope you can see by now that for the Great Water Scam of 2014 to work – You have to CONSENT. Without your consent nothing can happen, so don’t give it! Thanks James for this.. Great work