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People will pay three times for their water: Stanley

6 November, 2012 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government Brian Stanley TD said today that: “An Bord Gáis confirmed the public will be paying three times for their water if the government’s plans to install water meters are not resisted.”
Deputy Stanley was speaking after questioning An Bord Gáis CEO, John Mullins at the Dáil Environment Committee.
Deputy Stanley said: “An Bord Gáis confirmed today that the public will pay three times for their water.
“Firstly through general taxation, secondly through state subsidies and thirdly through domestic water meters. Despite informing the committee that Irish Water will be ready to bill households in January 2014 John Mullins, the project CEO, was unable to inform the committee of the full cost of the installation of the meters. According to the Local Authorities Professional Officers this project will cost the tax payer €1.2 billion. The government are asking the public to write An Bord Gáis a blank cheque and the public will have to foot the bill.
“The project lies in tatters. Initially Minister Fergus O’Dowd told the Dáil committee that the installation of water meters would commence in 2012. This date was put back in April when Minster Hogan claimed the installation would be done by 2014. Today John Mullins of Bord Gais said the installations would take over 30 months to complete, once they start, next year.
Sinn Féin calls on the government to abandon its ill-fated plan to install domestic water meters and introduce water charges. The government should invest instead in upgrading our crumbling water system.”

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