Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment Brian Stanley TD has said that the latest revelations regarding Irish Water confirm that is a corporate monster, which is replacing local authorities.
He was responding to reports on the duplication of staffing between the new entity and the local authorities, and also on the level of spending over the next three years which will bring none of the savings promised by Minister Phil Hogan.
Deputy Stanley said:
“It is clear from documents acquired by journalists that there is deep concern among local authorities regarding the future provision of existing services. That is despite the fact that Irish Water is replicating the expertise and structures already provided by the local water services. Indeed much of Irish Water’s spending has been on the consultancy and call centres. The staff and expertise are already there.
“All of this will mean that Irish Water will not in the foreseeable future deliver the €2 billion in savings promised by the Minister. All of this confirms what I have been saying all along in relation to Irish Water and that control of the water service ought to have been left in the hands of reformed local authorities who have the existing expertise to administer the system.
“I would also be concerned that Irish Water is going to be established and structured in such a way as to make it a target for privatisation. We have already seen that in the past with Eircom, and more recently where the establishment of Bord Gáis Energy was simply the precursor to selling it off.
“It makes no sense to throw away decades of state investment in once off sales, and any move to privatise water would ensure even higher water charges for consumers than those already suggested.”