Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has today branded the establishment of Irish Water is a scam.
Responding to reports that Dublin City Council will lose €2 billion in assets to Irish Water, Stanley said:
“The establishment of Irish Water is one of the biggest scams this government has devised. The Water Services Bill being brought before the Dáil tomorrow will allow for the transfer of local authority assets to Irish Water. It will take water services out of the democratic ownership of councils and put it in the hands of faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats. This will happen without a single councillor casting a vote on this multi-billion transfer.
“Dublin City Manager, Owen Keegan, has raised key questions that the government must answer. To date Minister for Environment has yet to quantify how many billions of euros in assets will be transferred to Irish Water. The Minister must come clean on this issue and give us facts not his usual spin. The Oireachtas cannot support a bill that is tantamount to issuing a blank cheque to Irish Water.
“The bill also reintroduces water charges. The proposal to charge household for water was dreamt up by Fianna Fail in 2010, and brought to life by Fine Gael and now supported by the Labour Party. This will mean people will pay three times for their water. Firstly in general taxation, then through the public funds being invested in in Irish water and finally through water charges. These charges are a double taxation and will be opposed inside and outside the Dáil.
“Sinn Féin has opposed the establishment of Irish Water from the start. We firmly believe it is the Trojan horse to allow creeping privatisation of essential services. This view is further substantiated by legal opinion given to Dublin City Council which indicated that the bill gave no guarantee against privatisation. The government are rushing this bill through in the last days of the Dáil term in the hope it will go unnoticed. We will oppose this bill at every opportunity and will do everything in our power to hold the government to account."