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Anti Property Tax Campaigners occupy headquarters of International financial company.

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | press release author Thursday February 28, 2013 13:02author by Elric Report this post to the editors

Press statement: Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes

Anti Property Tax Campaigners occupy headquarters of International financial company.
Sending out message of "It's not our debt, and we're not paying".

Members of the Campaign Against Home And Water Taxes ( CAHWT) are currently occupying the headquarters of Price Waterhouse Coopers in Dublin's Docklands.

This is the first occupation of this type held by the campaign, and represents a significant escalation of our protest activity . It is designed to draw attention to the financial institutions that have avoided the effects of the economic crisis while ordinary workers and their families are made to suffer.

According to Claire Casey of East Wall CAHWT : "For too long those who helped cause the economic crisis have gotten off too lightly. They have maintained their wealth, continue to make profits and have borne no responsibility for their actions. Meanwhile, we have all been hammered, ordinary workers and their families have endured pay cuts, job losses, increasing living costs and more and more unfair taxes. Today we want to get our message out loud and clear - this is not our debt, and we're not paying".

Claire Casey went on to state: " PriceWaterhouseCoopers are one of the leading companies in an industry that designs and markets aggressive tax avoidance schemes. They create sham transactions, phoney losses and phantom assets to enable their clients to dodge taxes."

As an example of questionable financial behaviour she highlighted the well known details of Google Ireland , who with a turnover of €47.44 billion between 2005 and 2011 paid a mere €69.91 million in tax , a rate of just 0.14% .

Claire continued : " This is just one example. Ireland is internationally famous for it's facilitation of massive tax avoidance and it's poor financial regulations. At the same time draconian legislation is being introduced to allow the Government direct access to citizens wages, benefits and possibly even our private bank accounts. This is utterly unacceptable."

Todays occupation takes place to coincide with the Irish Business Enterprise Confederation (IBEC) C.E.O Conference 2013 , taking place in the National Convention Centre , Spencer Dock. PWC are amongst the sponsors of this event. Amongst the 400 high profile guests at this event are José Manuel Barrosa , Enda Kenny and Eamonn Gilmore . The presence of the Taoiseach and Government ministers at such a gathering is a clear indication of what we can expect in the coming years - more "business friendly" government policy , light touch 'enforcement' on the financial services and a continuance of the behaviour that put Ireland at the centre of the global economic collapse. Unfortunately , to allow this to happen it is necessary for the austerity agenda - an attack on the living standards of Irish Citizens- to continue . IBEC are not only in favour of a 'property tax' on the family home , they want it to be twice what is already proposed.

According to Bernie Hughes of Finglas CAHWT : "This IBEC conference will help set an agenda of protecting the wealthy and making everyone else pay . IBEC are a ruthless , greed driven organisation , that promote an anti worker agenda . They have consistently called for cuts in workers' pay and pensions. They even called for Property tax to be doubled , so that home owners could contribute more and business interests would pay less ".

Bernie Hughes continued: " The so called Property Tax is a tax on the family home , and along with the planned water charges and the just announced broadcasting charge represents a further squeezing of every last cent possible from working people . We should not be forced to pay for the sins of others , and we have to take a strong stance to oppose the attacks by Fine Gael and Labour , who are are simply following Fianna Fails lead and letting business interests make the decisions".

Price Waterhouse Cooper are a very well connected company , working extensively for both the private sector and the Irish Government. They acted as tax advisors to the disgraced Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) on the disastrous bottle glass site deal . Former Chairman of the DDDA , Donal O'Connor , was also on the board of Anglo Irish Bank, and was a partner in PWC. Incredibly , they were paid almost 5 million euro for advising the government on the bank guarantee , while having previously acted as bank auditors , and their assesment of Anglo Irish was incredibly inaccurate . They also compiled a report on water metering for Minister Phil Hogan .

The occupation of Price Waterhouse Cooper by CAHWT activists represents an escalation of protest action by the campaign , which is expected to increase in the coming months in opposition to the property tax. Financial institutions played a core role in the economic crisis and cannot be ignored by a campaign made up of those who are refusing to be made pay for their actions.

author by Elricpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 13:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

author by Elricpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 13:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors



author by Elricpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The CAHWT have moved the protest to the steps of the convention centre where they have been told they are trespassing! IBEC are holding a conference inside which is being addressed by Enda Kenny!


author by Elricpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 13:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A peaceful occupation lasting an hour conducting by members of the CAHWT from across Dublin City has successfully concluded in the offices of Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Demonstrators are proceeding to the National Convention Centre to picket out the IBEC organised meeting of Chief Executives from across Europe being addressed by Head of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barrosso, the Taoiseach and Junior Minister for Europe Lucinda Creighton.

author by Elricpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bye Bye Banker!

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done on that action!!
A must-read book is Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shackson(not sure of spelling). Offshore and Tax Haven now wag the Capitalist dog.

author by fredpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 21:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good action. kudos to all involved. :-)

author by Tpublication date Fri Mar 01, 2013 00:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Video coverage of the action

Caption: Occupation of PWC offices by CAHWT

author by Janepublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the 1970's there was a houshold tax known as house rates,this included rubbish charges,and water in the rate.

Fianna fail done away with this to secure a position in power,in fairness they stuck to their promise and abolished rates.

But as a result of fianna fails doing away of rates,a few decades later we have greedy household charges (al a fine gale and labour) with no merit and seperate water charges,not amalgamated into one household rate?!

This is purely a greed tax.There are still potholes down at the end of my road that need doing.

If they bring in these rates the rate of PRSI should be lower,as the county council get money from PRSI tax.

But alas PRSI tax is not lower.This speaks volumes to me as to why it is a greed tax.

author by john laganpublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 14:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all who participated in this action.

Its about time CAHWT mentioned fluoride in the debate on water taxes.

I'm not saying we should pay water taxes if fluoridation is ended because Iike most people I have no money left to pay any more taxes.

However, its well worth pointing out that this government is spending €millions every year on water fluoridation, money that could be so much better spent elsewhere.

The public have always been assured that there was absolutely no possibility of any harm or risk from fluoridation of water, however there is a wealth of unequivocal evidence that demonstrates that this is not the case.

The fluoride added to Irish water is not the naturally occurring substance calcium fluoride, instead the highly toxic industrial waste product hydrofluorosilicic acid is used. This chemical is collected from the pollution scrubbers of the phosphate fertiliser industry and includes contaminants such as aluminium, arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.

Fluoride is a cumulative poison, and the health implications of chronic exposure to fluorosilicic acid in the population have not been investigated by this or preceding Irish governments.

I'd recommend reading the excellent report by Declan Waugh on the effects of water fluoridation, summary at:

Declan points out that successive governments have dumped 78,400,000 kgs of fluoride into the environment since fluoridation started here in 1964 where it persists indefinitely - and they claim they care about Irish water and the environment - complete humbug!

This government is always pointing out that we should follow the example of the rest of Europe, well Ireland is the only country left in Europe that still fluoridates its entire public water supply.

The government and the media are actively suppressing any real debate on this issue, so it's up to groups such as CAHWT to highlight this madness, otherwise we have to continue to read complacent journalist's statements such as "ending fluoridation would be an attack on the poor" - as if they care about the poor.

author by melgibsonpublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 20:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree that water fluoridation is superfluous and people can just brush their teeth with toothpaste if they think fluoride helps avoid caries.

However, if the CAHWT takes up this cause and pushes it, it will look to the public as if they are a bunch of conspiracy theorists instead of a serious campaign and the public will not get behind it.

It could be mentioned purely as one example of the waste of public funds in water treatment though.

Personally I accept that fluoridation of water is unnecessary and is anti democratic, but years of TV has most people thinking anything other than the government line on pretty much everything is just the ravings of nutjob conspiracy theorists. Until you can deprogramme most of the population from this and other such views, it is best to approach the issues by appealing to logic and that which is impossible to write off in this emotive manner.

Propagandists have done a wonderful job mixing up outlandish views with ideas that have a lot of truth in them and thus having them all written off and labelled as "conspiracy theory", a term which I believe the father of PR himself, Edward Bernays came up with. This needs to be addressed and unravelled but alas the CAHWT is not the time or the place or the organisation to do it.

It would be a complete tactical faux pas at this time to make big statements about fluoridation, and would just end up fragmenting and destroying a fledgling movement. It's hard enough to motivate the public about anything these days. They certainly won't get out on the streets if it means being ridiculed.

I'm not saying the discussions about fluoride don't contain a fair bit of truth and personally I agree fluoridation should be stopped from a democratic and economic point of view. However, the propagandists have won the PR battle regarding many such things labelled as "conspiracy theory" and It's not wise or appropriate for the CAHWT to try to go up against years of successful propaganda at this point.

author by ironicpublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 21:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

price waterhouse cooper.

What a name for a company pushing privatisation of water

they are pushing an increase to the price of water to houses and they have us over a barrel

No to household water charges!. Great action. Thanks to all involved

author by John Bpublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 22:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I find myself sympathetic to both of you. I agree with John Lagan that water fluoridation is both unnecessary and harmful and should be stopped asap but also think Mel G is right that it would be tactically harmful for CAHWT to take it on at this time.

Having said that though I believe that the current discourse within and without the campaign is shallow and inadequate and does not go anywhere near where we need to be heading as regards water management in this country.

Even without the proposed tax the situation is dire.

It isn't enough to simply demand an end to the tax.

I would like to see CAHWT groups working towards the envisaging (if not the implementation) of democratic and ecologically sound practices regarding water useage in this country that bring control over water distribution and treatment into community hands. These should incorporate such things as rain water harvesting for washing and flushing of toilets and natural grey and black water treatment systems to deal with dirty water coming out of homes and businesses. Most importantly there needs to be a general awareness that our access to quality water ultimately depends on a healthy ecosystem and landscape rather than on technological solutions and that the responsibility to ensure this lies with everyone.

This is probably a long way off, for the same reasons that Mel outlines in his post but as the man said the journey of a million miles starts with a single step and if we don't make that step we'll never get there. Whether or not CAHWT is ready to adopt these kinds of progressive policies it is important that there are people taking them on, thrashing them out and bringing them into the discourse now so that when the time comes we actually have some practical, positive solutions to offer as well as the know how to implement them.

author by anonpublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 22:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John B, Your ideas about how the CAHWT campaign should be broadened are spot on and correct and should be taken up, but the problem is that the political parties that form the backbone of the campaign don't want to go in that direction as they have their own agendas to follow and that isn't one of them.

You could try and do it from within the CAHWT by joining it except you won't have the force of numbers. The only alternative is to start your own group and simply write about these issues.

author by experienced activistpublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 23:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

shrewd political spin doctors will infiltrate / encourage talk of water fluoridation in the campaign then use it to try to discredit the campaign. Keep the line and focus on the main objectives here. Don't underestimate the underhandedness of those who wish to profit from this and other privatisations.

Fluoridation is a separate issue that can easily be addressed by a completely seperate group if people wish to do so.

author by Jim Collinspublication date Wed Mar 06, 2013 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Flouridation is a seperate issue and there is a good groundswell building against it and not before time.

Hotpress and Declan Waugh are doing great work on it, some of us will keep it moving. See here:

MSM are a problem, they bury or totally distort and minimise more and more issues vital issues and expand the trivial.

I saw a good poster in inchicore the other day, A3 , it said : "Government Mission Statement : To safeguard the rich, we'll plunder the poor."

Great action, at P WH C well done to all involved.

Maybe an amalgam of the many disaffected who are bailing the rich can march on RTE in view of its increasing distortion or outright supression of essential news items. We know what they are so does the establishment and they know really well, that it is the Information War that matters.

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