Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children Robert Troy is demanding that Irish Water comes clean and reveals what research was used to influence the massive cut to the childrens’ water allowance. The Commission for Energy Regulation today published the full cost of water charges, which includes a reduction in the free annual allocation for children from 38,000 litres to 21,000 litres.
Deputy Troy commented, “The Commission for Energy Regulation has effectively rubberstamped a substantial reduction in the water allowance for children, which it hinted at last month. However, there appears to be no published data which explains why such a significant cut was approved. It appears as if Irish taxpayers, who have already forked out tens of millions of euros on consultants’ fees, are being duped again by Irish Water, while the Regulator stands by and approves the process.
“During the consultation period, the Regulator ignored submissions asking him to engage with the Oireachtas and explain the dramatic reduction in water allowances. Despite promising to appear before the Oireachtas Environment Committee he has failed to do so, which in my mind raises concerns about the transparency of the process.
“It is unthinkable that such a dramatic reduction in the free water allocation for children has gone unchallenged. People are already sceptical about the management and running of Irish Water, and the Regulator’s decision to grant a 45% cut to the free allowance originally announced by the Government does nothing to ease those concerns.
“I’m calling on the Regulator and Irish Water to publish the analysis it used to justify the slashing of this water allowance. This study has been much talked about, but does not appear to be in the public domain. People need to know that this wasn’t a back of the envelope calculation that has no scientific basis. The fact that the CER will monitor usage and allowances over the next two year adds to the deep suspicion that these allowances were never fully explored.
“The public deserves to see the evidence behind this controversial cut. Irish Water has proven itself to be extraordinarily secretive to date, and if it is to have any hope of building public trust it will have to shed more light on how it conducts its business. For its part, the Commission for Energy Regulation needs to fight for the consumer and not merely be at the mercy of the entities it regulates”.