Crossroad Blues - Conservation Grant, Will We, Won't We Sign Pact

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above, "Have mercy, now save poor Bob, if you please"

  Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson .  The Crossroads  refers to the singer's choice between  the good path or the dark paths.  Unfortunately for Bob he chose the dark.  He feared he would sell his soul  to the Devil.

Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson.  The Crossroads  refers to the singer's choice between  the good path or the dark paths.  Unfortunately for Bob he chose the dark.  He feared he would sell his soul  to the Devil.

What's all this to do about water charges, Irish Water and choices, you may wonder?   Well according to the Irish Times newspaper, Irish Ministers at their weekly Cabinet meeting on 1st April 2015,  finally approved the process by which households receive a €100 annual  'Conservation Grant'.  Depending on which side of the fence you are on, whether you support Irish Water or you oppose it,  the choice you make will either be the right one or wrong one, the dark path or good path. 

Would it be fair to say that the Government hopes this very generous giveaway, possibly €180,000,000 per year, will entice households, who are sitting on the fence,  to come over to their side?  Yes, it would be fair, because if the necessary amount of households sign up then that would give the Government the numbers to tip a forthcoming Eurostat market test in favour of Irish Water. 

Ah no, that's being cynical!  Surely  the Government is giving  the Conservation Grant to  " promote sustainable use of water and to enhance water conservation in households." (www.welfare.ie)  Yes, that's it, not only is the grant a financial temptation, it is also a civic duty where you will be helping 'sustainability'.  But an angel of light cometh and like Adam & Eve you could be lured by a nice juicy €100 apple.

adameve.jpg

You are now at the crossroads and you have to make the choice.  The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly has produced the apple and we have been given until June 30th to choose whether to bite, sign a pact and accept an annual €100 'Water Conservation Grant'. 

Is that it?   No not really.  You have a couple of more pacts to complete.  First you have to sign a registration form with Irish Water which will give you a unique number.  After that you have to sign and complete a registration form with the Department of Social Protection before August 2015.  The Department's form will ask you to supply details of the unique Irish Water's customer number, your bank account information and PPS numbers.  

Is that it?   Well not really.  That remains to be seen because there are seismic rumblings within the European Commission about whether the 'Conservation Grant' would affect the funding model for Irish Water. (The Journal) This could and should affect a forthcoming Eurostat market test on the viability of Irish Water.  However, the angel of light has legions standing in the shadow in the form of the IMF waiting with bigger, redder, juicier apples. (TodayFM)

Is that it?  Well no not really.  There are also  the discretionary functions bestowed on the Government by  the Water Services Act 2014 that may come into play. (irishstatutebook)  These so-called discretionary functions have been amply demonstrated by the ever moving Irish Water registration deadlines.  Who is to say that this will not happen again.

 Robert Johnson 1911-1938

Robert Johnson 1911-1938


Standin' at the crossroad, baby, risin' sun goin' down
Standin' at the crossroad, baby, eee, eee, risin' sun goin' down
I believe to my soul, now, poor Bob is sinkin' down

 

 

Buncrana Together April 06, 2015