Paying for public services is a hot potato topic in Ireland, given the Irish Water debacle. My main issue with the Irish Water saga was with the awarding of the metering contract to GMC/Sierra when Siemens offered to install meters for free back in 2010. Another classic example of an Irish Government wasting money – see electronic voting machines, and giving away our natural gas resources for other examples.

I don’t know enough about these topics though, I should educate myself more on them, but limited time and other priorities scupper that. I do have a little proposal that may make some sense.

I think we should charge for water consumption and make bin collections free.

I’m sick of seeing all the fly tipping going on around the country. Horrible people are just dumping bags of rubbish wherever they like, rather than paying the few quid to have them handled correctly.

Cleaning up fly tipping sites is expensive and inefficient. I’d wager more money is spent on paying the crews to travel to the sites, rather than actually cleaning up the sites.

If waste collection was free, I don’t think people would bother with fly tipping. It would make it a complete waste of time.

With this in place, then resume with water charges. People with private water supplies are already paying to run and maintain their pumps, installing water softeners, and topping up salt supplies each month.

By charging for water, we know everyone is making a contribution for their usage. This is guaranteed as everybody will need their water supply.

Waste collection is not guaranteed, as people just go dump their shite wherever they choose. By not charging for waste collection, we know there is no excuse for fly tipping. We end up with a cleaner countryside, less nappies littering footpaths and ring-roads, and more efficient use of county council staff.

How to charge for water consumption is another days story. Obviously it would need to be done in a fair way, but as it’s something that be easily measured, it should be possible.