The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment Brian Stanley TD has claimed that Irish Water has been given a ‘blank cheque’. He said that this means that nobody actually knows what the true cost of running the entity will be. He was responding to an ESRI report which says that staffing costs alone will account for up to €2 billion over a seven year period. This is at variance with statements made by Minister Hogan who claimed that there would be savings over the same period.
Deputy Stanley said: “This is more evidence of the massive costs involved in establishing an unnecessary corporate structure to take away control from democratically accountable local authorities. It comes on top of revelations about the huge sums spent on consultancy, and the fact that 29 of the senior employees of Irish Water are on salaries of €100,000 and above.
“While the Government has claimed that Irish Water was established to bring about savings, the Irish people will be paying three times. Not only will they have to pay for their water when meters are installed, but they are also paying for Irish including €490 million from the Local Property Tax, which is being raided in order to pay for the new company. That is on top of the sums already budgeted for.
“It is now clear that the refusal and failure of the Government to provide figures on the costs involved in Irish Water, is that those costs appear now to be open-ended. The only thing that is certain is that it will be ordinary households which will pick up the final tab.”