Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment, Barry Cowen TD, says the latest revelations on Irish Water reinforce his call for the suspension of water charges until a full review of the company is carried out.
He commented: “The runaway train that is Irish Water must be stopped before the company descends into further chaos. Any shred of public confidence in Irish Water is long gone and incredibly we now have cabinet Ministers saying the project is not ready.
“The crocodile tears being shed by the Government over Irish Water is deeply cynical. Last December all opposition members staged a walkout of the Dáil chamber after the legislation for Irish Water was rammed through the house in four hours. There wasn’t a word of dissent or concern uttered from Government benches then but now they are falling over each other to absolve themselves of any blame in the shambles that is Irish Water.
“Today’s revelations that a data protection manager has yet to be hired, that bonuses will continue to be paid and confusion over the new Board of Ervia reinforce Fianna Fáil’s call for the suspension of water charges until a full review of the company and its pay structures is conducted. If Ervia is the parent company of Irish Water then it is doing a pretty pathetic job in its supervision of the utility. What direction, if any, was given to Irish Water by Ervia?
“The Government and Irish Water are nowhere near dealing with the huge discrepancies in terms of charging, confusion over allowances, the outrageous consultancy costs and anger over metering. Until these and many other issues are resolved the Government cannot force water charges on people.
“It is time for the Government to put its hands up and agree with former Minister Fergus O’Dowd that Irish Water has been an unmitigated disaster. Water charges must be suspended until the countless problems with the company are resolved.”