Government plans to implement water charges and privatise the Water Service in Northern Ireland has been put back again, this time to April 2007.
Ineptitude, opposition and a desire to dissipate growing resistance may all play their part in the further delay.
The most damaging aspect of this announcement is that it becomes harder to focus attention on the issue and build effective resistance.
We have however been handed the time to build the infrastructure needed for an effective non-payment campaign when the legislation is finalised, the billing systems put in place and the first bills printed. Significantly members of the north’s largest union NIPSA, voted to endorse non-payment at their recent annual conference in Newcastle County Down. While the trades union led coalition are collecting signatures for a petition against water reform and charges we believe that a more pro-active and imaginative approach is also needed in order to help build opposition.
Many are placing faith in persuading our local politicians to oppose the charge, something that is pretty easy for them to do while they aren’t actually sitting at Stormont but we can’t forget that all the Assembly parties were involved in putting water reform and charges on the political agenda the last time round.
From the pages of Working Class Resistance, magazine of Organise!