Government water reforms in chaos – Stanley
Sinn Féin's Environment spokesperson, Brian Stanley TD, has today claimed that the government’s water reforms are in chaos.
Stanley, raising the issue in the Dáil today, said:
“On the 1st of January next all water infrastructure is set to transfer to Usice Eireann. This is a massive transfer of property including treatment plants, water infrastructure and public private partnerships.
“The installation of water meters, a key part of the government's plan, is way behind government targets. It is proceeding at a snail’s pace. The project is not going to plan.
“To date we have not seen the legislation to facilitate the transfer of assets despite the fact that there are only five weeks left in this Dáil term. This is creating huge concern among councillors, local authority staff and trade unions.”
In response to Deputy Stanley, An Tainiste Eamon Gilmore indicated the bill will be introduced by the end of November.
“The government announced with much fanfare that Irish Water would be the answer to all our water problems. It would be financially self-sufficient and would access funding to upgrade our infrastructure. To date we have had water rationing in Dublin, €740 million in taxpayers’ money invested in Irish Water. But not a cent invested in leaking pipes or improving the quality of water.
“The establishment of Irish Water has nothing to do with improving our water sector and everything to do with advancing the government intentions of privatising our water. Sinn Féin has predicted that removing the public water sector from the democratic control of local authorities is fraught with difficulty. We will continue to campaign against the introduction of water rates.
“The government’s water reforms are in chaos. This government would be better off shutting down Irish Water and investing the money in our public water sector.”