Water charges: Setting the record straight

TOMMY BLACK is the East Belfast organiser of the anti-water charges We Won’t Pay Campaign.

Over many years Tommy and the We Won’t Pay Campaign have determinedly organised against the introduction of water charges. Over 120,000 people signed the campaign’s non-payment pledge.

Despite what the politicians may claim, if it was not for the work of the We Won’t Pay Campaign in building support for mass non-payment, water charges would have been introduced by now.

The campaign has saved households on average more than £1,300.

The We Won’t Pay Campaign was established by the Socialist Party together with trade union activists to organise mass non-payment of water charges across Northern Ireland. But water charges are not yet off the agenda.


Main parties support water charges

In a recent interview Sinn Fein’s Paul Butler has claimed Sinn Fein needed to start taking “hard decisions rather than populist decisions” in order to find extra funding and added “really the only place the Stormont executive can go is the area of water charging.” The Alliance Party, the Green Party and the DUP’s Sammy Wilson have also said they want water charges brought in.


Communities united defeated water charges

The budget passed by the Assembly has not scrapped water charges – they have only agreed to defer them. Water charges could be introduced in 2012 so Tommy will continue to build the We Won’t Pay Campaign until water charges are officially scrapped.

All the main parties are signed up to introduce £4 billion cuts in the next 4 years. These cuts will destroy our economy and leave young people without a future.

Whatever empty promises they make in the run up to this election, the politicians cannot be relied upon. Ordinary people need to get organised to make sure the rich bankers and speculators pay for the crisis they created – not us.

What the We Won’t Pay Campaign has proven is that it is possible to fight and defeat the Stormont parties. The Socialist Party has now launched the Stop the Cuts Campaign to fight the cuts.

If elected, Tommy will use his position to build the campaign across East Belfast and Northern Ireland.


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