The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Brian Stanley TD has said that the newly appointed Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly TD, must perform better than his predecessor. He also questioned the suitability of former Minister Phil Hogan to be appointed as a European Commissioner. Deputy Stanley referred to Hogan’s record as Minister in relation to the establishment of Irish Water, the introduction of the Local Property Tax, and his failure to bring forward the promised legislation on climate change.
Deputy Stanley said:
“Minister Hogan has introduced some of the most unpopular legislation under the current Government. The Local Property Tax has imposed a further burden on struggling households, and he has also overseen the establishment of Irish Water and the introduction of water charges which I believe will amount to an average charge of well above the €240 forecast by the Government.
“Hogan has also failed to bring forward promised legislation on Climate Change despite that having been a central commitment in the Programme for Government.
“His record in relation to planning has been poor. Fine Gael and Labour promised to oversee a ‘democratic revolution’ in the way in which the state is run. Instead we have seen a series of appointment in recent weeks of people to state boards solely on the basis of their political loyalties. Minister Hogan has appointed 5 Fine Gael and 2 Labour former councillors to state boards in his final days in office.
“He has also attempted to frustrate any investigation into planning irregularities and has appointed as Deputy Chairperson of Bórd Pleanalá an individual who has a clear conflict of interest due to his prior role as a director of one of the main framers of controversial developments.”