Irish Water utility ‘has done nothing but waste money’, says Sligo Councillor

‘€785 million of taxpayers’ money spent on creating…ridiculous Super Quango’

Sligo News File Online
Eamon Scanlon, TD, Fianna Fail, Sligo-Leitrim.
Eamon Scanlon, TD,
Fianna Fail, Sligo-Leitrim.

Sligo Fianna Fail Councillor Eamon Scanlon has called for Irish Water be scrapped, branding it a “a hugely expensive fiasco that has cost taxpayers dearly.”

Irish Water came into existence in the wake of an agreement which the Fianna Fail-led government entered into with the Troika in 2010.

In the Memorandum of Understanding, the Fianna Fail-Green Party Coalition pledged it would publish “the General Scheme of a Water Services Bill …providing for the establishment of Irish Water in its final form.”

Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan also informed the International Monetary Fund, that “in advance of the introduction of water charges, the government will have undertaken an independent assessment of transfer of responsibility for water services provision from local authorities to a water utility, and prepare proposals for
implementation, as appropriate with a view to start charging in 2012/2013.

The Memorandum of Understanding also included provisions for a property tax and carbon levies on home heating oil, gas, coal, briquettes, auto diesel and petrol.

The Fianna Fail – Green Party Troika agreement was subsequently progressed and implemented by the current Fine Gael – Labour Coalition.

Scanlon, selected by Fianna Fail to contest the next general election, says in his press statement that “no-one forced” the present government to implement the Fianna Fail-Green Party agreement – negotiated in the context of its application for a bailout.

“They could have easily left the water infrastructure within the remit of local authorities, and instead spent the money on actually fixing leaks and supply problems.”

He says, “€785 million…has been spent on creating Irish Water, a Super Quango that has done absolutely nothing but waste money, look after its own bosses with bonuses and perks, spend a fortune on consultants and spin doctors, wasted hundreds of millions on a flawed meter installation process and essentially ignore the needs of consumers and the problems with the water supply in the North West.”

Currently, Fianna Fail appears to be supporting charges for water.