“In a grave new development, we have the two Ministers in charge of the budgetary process totally at odds over whether or not the disastrous Irish Water project will have an impact on future Budgets,” explained Senator O’Brien.
“In an outrageous dismissal of the Irish Water fiasco, Minister Noonan has insisted it will have no impact on future budgets as it will remain a public utility ‘off the books’. Meanwhile Minister Howlin has now conceded that unless Eurostat reverses its decision, Irish Water will be part of the budgetary process and will have to compete with other infrastructure projects for funding.
“It has now also emerged that even if every single household in the country pays their water charges, it still won’t be enough to keep Irish Water off the books. Eurostat has said that full compliance would still leave the failed quango short of target and it will need to be propped up by central funding.
“This descends into further chaos every single day. Not only is it the first time in the history of the State that a Government has introduced a tax that actually costs the exchequer, there isn’t even agreement at Cabinet level about the future direction of this quango.
“Fianna Fáil is supporting demands for the recall of the Seanad next week. It is unacceptable that the Ministers overseeing this fiasco are totally unaccountable to the Oireachtas for the next few weeks. We want an opportunity to bring the Environment Minister Alan Kelly, the Finance Minister Michael Noonan or the Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin before the upper house without further delay to clear up the ever growing confusion surrounding Irish Water.”