Irish Water is already privatized.

The title might be intimidating or even make one lose hope, it is however the unfortunate truth and let me elaborate as to how and why.  I’ve only connected the dots so to speak after the issue was brought to my attention in two separate matters at the Independent Workers Union. I’ll briefly speak about each case and then disclose the parallel, though I am certain it’ll be noticeable straight away.

Case 1

Security guards

I’m elaborating on security guards in Ireland as the analogy and most importantly the setup used by companies in the hiring process. Essentially the setup is very straightforward though most people outside of the security business itself or those dealing with security guards would be unaware of it.

Company X requires security personnel and makes this information publically known.

Companies Z and Y, security companies then compete for said contract.



Company X is willing to pay the company 25 euro per security person that they can give them, while the security company Z and Y pay their employee 10.75 thereby turning the rest into a gross profit.  This is called subcontracting, where one company is partially fulfilling the obligations of a contract of another.

Here’s what Irish Water is doing

I’ve only really thought about this in depth after having met workers from one of these subcontracted companies underneath Irish Water and the entire question of privatization struck me from a different angle, the angle I’ve explained above.

The workers I met and committed to aid were from a company that was sub contracted to install water meters, but here’s the clincher: They were third down the line in sub contracts, so, I’ll give you an example with arbitrary numbers.

Case 2, Example

Irish Water receives 150 euro from the state per worker.  Irish Water subcontracts Company 1, for 100 euro per worker pocketing a gross profit of 50 euro.

Company 1 then subcontracts Company 2 for 50 euro, pocketing 50 euro in gross profit.

Company 2 then subcontracts Company 3 for 25 euro and pockets 25 euro in gross profit.

Company 3 fulfils the contracts delegated down to it, paying their employees a minimum / slightly above minimum wage and pockets the difference as gross profit.

The reasoning that follows is that well, is Irish Water not already privatized if companies that do not belong to the state are performing all the functions?  The methodology of subcontracting essentially quite blatantly ensures that great margins of profit are made but also that the work itself is done by somebody else. So it stands that Irish Water itself is not performing several tasks but at the expense of the tax payer delegating the responsibility of meter installation elsewhere?

It is certainly something to think about as it would change the dynamics of the way people view Irish Water and the fight to abolish it and its charges. After all, the government can easily circumvent the abolition of the company Irish Water by subcontracting the work out of the Co. Councils via the Viceroys of counties known as ‘Chief Executives’.

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