Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has described the Environment Minister’s claim that he has no responsibility to the company’s spend as “off the wall”.
Deputy McDonald was speaking ahead of this evening’s meeting of Public Accounts Committee which is due to review the systems of oversight and accountability in respect of exchequer funding to Irish Water
The Public Accounts Committee member said:
“Phil Hogan’s refusal to oversee, never mind account for, the €85 million spent by Irish Water to date on a vast array of consultants is mind boggling. However, his excuse that to do so would be to micromanage the company is off the wall.
“Claims that the Minister had neither sight nor sound of the details regarding the massive amounts of exchequer funding paid out to these consultants is truly hard to believe.
"Yesterday the Environment Committee heard that the Department had sought a budget breakdown from Irish Water, substantiation of items, and queries on the procurement process for external consultancies.
“What kind of show is Phil Hogan running?
“Fine Gael and Labour like Fianna Fáil before them are wedded to water charges. Let’s not forget it was Fianna Fáil in government who first committed the state to water charges in November 2010 in their National Recovery Plan 2011-2014.
“Micheál Martin was a member of the cabinet who made this decision.
Fianna Fail’s crocodile tears will be little comfort to families who will now have to shell out hundreds of euro next year on the charge.”