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Housing Minister accused of delaying 2016 bill to prevent privatisation of Irish Water

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy “has deliberately sought to delay a bill aimed at ensuring Irish Water remains a public company, the Opposition has claimed.” Sinn Féin TD Eoin O Broin says “we are fed up with the delays, we want to proceed. Absolutely they are seeking to delay this. (…) Mr. Ó Broin expressed his anger with the further postponement of Committee Stage of the Water in Public Ownership Bill that was due to take place tomorrow. ‘The Committee Stage of Water in Public Ownership Bill has been delayed yet again at Minister Murphy’s request. This is clearly a delaying tactic by the government as it clearly does not want a referendum to ensure water services remain in public ownership,’ he said.”

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

Unions in push for local authorities to retake control of services

Public Service Unions “have launched a campaign to boost the powers of local government and to bring privatised services back under the control of local authorities.” The “More Power to You” campaign by Fórsa, SIPTU and Connect “will run ahead of the local elections in May and will urge the public and politicians to sign up to a pledge backing measures including directly-elected mayors, and bringing previously privatised services back under the remit of the public service. Addressing the launch, Dr. Mary Murphy of NUI Maynooth presented a report saying that ‘four dead hands’ had strangled the capacity of local authorities—including privatisation of functions like housing and waste, centralisation by central government, increasing executive control in councils, and austerity.”

Source: RTE.ie

Union threat as bus routes ‘privatised’

The National Bus and Rail Union warns the government of major industrial unrest if it continues to outsource public bus routes to private, for-profit companies. The warning “came after it was confirmed that Bus Éireann has lost six bus routes in the Dublin Commuter Area along the Kildare corridor to one of Britain’s largest bus operators, GoAhead.” Workers rights and wages are imperiled. “Asked whether workers’ rights, pay scales and union clauses would be recognised under the tender, [NTA chief executive Anne Graham] said it would be up to the operator to implement pay scales. She said the agreement did not include union recognition but that Go Ahead would have to comply with all industrial relations legislation.”

Source: www.irishexaminer.com