By Daniel Waldron
In the North, Green Party leader Clare Bailey has restated her party’s support for “progressive” domestic water charges.
The bulk of waste in our water system does not take place in people’s homes but in the antiquated infrastructure which has been starved of investment for decades. Responsibility for that lies with the politicians, not ordinary people.
Households should not have to ration water usage for fear of the bill. Like all essential utilities, the water service should be publicly owned, democratically controlled and funded through genuinely progressive taxation.
Water charges have always been a precursor to privatisation, leading to skyrocketing bills and a poorer service, as seen in England. Any attempt to introduce domestic water charges should be resisted by a campaign of mass non-payment, the key tactic which defeated the charges in the South.
Many people in the North have voted for the Greens because they want an anti-sectarian and left alternative. Unfortunately, this – and their role in government in the South – shows the weakness of the Greens’ approach, which ultimately accepts the limitations and false logic of capitalism.