‘Government’s latest attempts to defend national utility ‘ludicrous’
Sligo News File Online
Fianna Fáil Sligo-Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry has attacked as “ludicrous” the Government’s latest attempts to justify the setting up of Irish Water.
Reports claim, he said, that the Environment Minister is to complain to Eurostat over the agency’s findings on the utility company, “despite the fact that Eurostat’s analysis is based on Government supplied figures.”
He said “This latest attempt to defend Irish Water is nothing more than another feeble attempt to justify this failed utility. Minister Alan Kelly’s decision to write to Eurostat following Irish Water’s failure to meet the market corporation test is indicative of this Government’s tendency to put the cart before the horse. Despite trying to appear assertive while challenging Eurostat on its figures, it seems to have slipped the Minister’s mind that those figures are based on the Government’s own CSO statistics.
Slamming the national utility “as a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said “people across the North West are fed up reading reports about where their money is going.
“Hundreds of millions of euro has been spent on consultants’ fees, management bonuses, staff perks and redundant water meters. Not one extra cent has been spent on improving water quality or fixing leaks or burst pipes.”
MacSharry said that, “just this week,” Fianna Fáil demonstrated how, based on the current compliance rates and publicly available information on the costs associated with water charges, the net revenue from domestic water charges in 2015 will amount to minus €72m.
“The Government cannot continue to throw good money after bad in an attempt to keep this failed entity afloat. Fewer than half of customers are paying their bills – sending a clear message to the Minister that they have no confidence in this bonus driven super quango.
“Minister Kelly needs to rethink his strategy and instead of concentrating on PR campaigns, come up with a strategy to dismantle this bloated utility.”