Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill, has called on the Government to immediately call a halt to plans to hit households with high water charges while creating a new Super Quango that will soon take control of the entire water network.
Senator Ó Domhnaill and his Fianna Fáil colleagues have strongly opposed legislation currently going through the Seanad that will see every household across the country charged for water from Quarter 4 of 2014.
“The Government are hell bent on ramming this crucial legislation through the Oireachtas before Christmas, which gives effect to water charges and transfers assets to Irish Water.
“The Water Services (No. 2) Bill 2013 will see the introduction of domestic water charges, the establishment of another Quango and the transfer of the entire water network to Irish Water.
“The announcement within the last 24 hours to sell Bord Gáis Éireann now effectively means that the entire public drinking water network and waste water network is being privatised before being set up at all. This is an outrageous abuse of power by the Government and appears to transfer a public resource into private ownership.
“This is a major piece of legislation that has huge significance for the taxpayer. Not only will it see households around the country hit with water charges, it will also see households forking out untold sums of money to fund a new super Quango that will soon take control of the entire water network.
“Fianna Fáil remains totally opposed to the establishment of Irish Water. The new Quango will see a centralisation and semi privatisation of our entire public water network. The new Quango in conjunction with the Commission for Energy Regulation will have exclusive responsibility for setting Water Charges to be levied on every household.
“Fianna Fáil’s amendments to the legislation are aimed at requesting democratic accountability, transparency clauses and ability to pay measures to be included in the legislation. They were ignored and voted down in the Seanad this week.”