Reading about the introduction of water charges and a “household charge” here raises some questions with me. The first is why is the household charge being set and levied nationally? If it is to be ringfenced for local authority spending, then why not let local councillors decide the rate? It would mean that local elections would at least have some connection between local taxation and local spending. Having said that, I suspect that it is local councillors who are the most passionate advocates of keeping the household charge at a national level. Only in Ireland do devolved authorities complain that they have too much power, and want the right to bitch and complain about local services but go white with fright at the thought of them being actually responsible for them.
By the way, in the same story Niall Collins of Fianna Fail attacks Labour over the water charges. I’m really getting sick of Irish politicians making promises in opposition they must either know they can’t keep, or are incompetent to be promising. Labour should never have made reckless promises on water charges and third level fees in this economic climate. But for Fianna Fail to be getting all high and mighty about it is enough to bring me breakfast up. Weren’t water charges inserted by Niall Collins (as an FF politician) into the IMF deal?
Finally, interesting and, most importantly, highly accessible site on engineering here by a reader of this blog.