Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment, Barry Cowen TD, says there has been a complete failure by Minister Phil Hogan to communicate what exactly water metering means for the public. This has resulted in huge uncertainly and anxiety throughout the country as people are living in fear about the potential costs.
Deputy Cowen was speaking after raising this issue in the Dáil today.
“This is yet another example of Minister Hogan failing in any meaningful manner to communicate adequately with the people. The public have no idea what is in store for them when water metering is introduced.
“The Minister has also failed to outline the most basic details of the charge like how much will it cost the state; what waivers will be put in place and how much poverty proofing will be done. The Water Services Bill that was discussed today in the Dáil is only an interim bill. The full contents of the actual Bill should be known by now, I just hope that all the commitments that were made by the Government and Bord na Móna have been fulfilled.
“It is not right, proper or fair to be proceeding with the set-up of Irish Water without these simple questions answered. There is an information deficit and the Minister needs to bridge this gap.
“I thought that the Government would have learned from the Household Charge debacle about how not to run an information campaign. Phil Hogan's approach will only serve to alienate the public.
“I am calling on the Minister to learn from his mistakes and starting engaging with the public about his plans for water metering and water charges before proceeding any further.”