Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD has responded to reports this morning confirming that less is being spent on the water infrastructure in the country now than was consistently spent over the course of the decade before FG and Labour established Irish Water.
Deputy Cowen commented, “The case for Irish Water continues to collapse. This morning we have confirmation of an important fact that Fianna Fáil have been pointing to for some time – despite all the grandiose claims from Government and their supporters about the importance of Irish Water in fixing infrastructure, LESS will actually be invested in our infrastructure than was the case before Irish Water existed.
“Over the course of the decade up to the establishment of Irish Water, Fianna Fáil led governments spent an average €500 M per year on improving the water and wastewater system. Under this new regime, that figure falls substantially.
“No amount of spin from the Government, Ervia, Irish Water or anyone else can alter that basic fact. Those who continue to champion the quango cannot have it both ways – they cannot get away with pointing to ‘underinvestment’ in the past as the reason for the new system, but then stand over a significantly smaller level of investment now and into the future.
“On this morning’s Morning Ireland, the Chief Executive of Ervia sought to distract attention from this core fact by introducing another issue into the discussion about Irish Water. Namely, he claimed that the €500M+ metering programme was great value because it shows that leakage in the country was actually ‘worse than we thought’.
“Given that we had already been operating on the assumption that leakage was in excess of 45%, these comments simply do not stack up. Any objective analysis would agree that the €500M+ poured into installing meters that will not be read, would be much better spent tackling part of the 45% leakage we were aware of previously.
“The PR campaign of Irish Water goes on, but the public have made up their minds. There needs to be an immediate independent review of Irish Water, the money that has been spent to date and an honest appraisal of how water investment is managed into the future.”