Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson, Barry Cowen TD, has called on Sinn Féin to clarify its position on plans to privatise Irish Water.
Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission released today called for equity investment in the semi-state company.
Deputy Cowen commented: “Sinn Féin put forward a new document today stating it is opposed to water charges but is simultaneously calling for “equity investment” in Irish Water. This means getting private investors to buy shares in the company, thereby removing Government control. It is in effect privatisation by another name.
“Sinn Féin needs to clarify just what its policy actually is. If it intends to fund Irish Water by selling shares, which is what its policy document states, then it means they support privatisation. If Irish Water is in private hands the Government of the day will have no control over water charges. Sinn Féin needs to set out exactly what it means and how it intends to fund Irish Water. The party’s calls for equity investment means it is taking the road to selling off Irish Water to private global investment funds. We know this is Fine Gael policy but is Sinn Féin now joining it?
“Fianna Fail is opposed to privatisation of water which is a precious resource and a national asset. Placing it in private hands will potentially jeopardise a vital economic and social resource. Sinn Féin’s confused messages on this vital area show ups the voodoo economics at the heart of their policy.”