Crowe Welcomes Irish Water Funding Scrutiny
Dublin South West representative Seán Crowe TD has welcomed the decision by the Dáil Finance Committee to examine the funding structures of Irish Water.
Crowe said that the decision was agreed following a motion proposed by his party colleague Pearse Doherty and he was hopeful that this mechanism would provide some new answers about how Irish Water proposes to raise finance and equally important how it is spending it. The company has been shrouded in controversy since its establishment with bonuses being handed out to senior management seemingly a widespread practice.
Deputy Seán Crowe said;
“I welcome the decision of Dáil Finance Committee to investigate and scrutinise, independently the funding structure of Irish Water.
"We need to collectively look at the facts and figures rather than through the well worn, hazy lens of the Government's political spin.The company has been shrouded in controversy since its establishment with bonuses being handed out 'willy nilly' to senior management, seemingly a widespread practice.
“The Finance Committee needs to begin by determening the credibility of the ‘off balance sheet’ approach taken by the Government and how that actually sits in relation to existing European Union rules.
“There is also widespread confusion about the water charges, how much people are being asked to pay, how much is being spent on consultants, and the amount of tax payers money given away in questionable 'bonus payments'.
"The Government has been less than clear about their proposed funding mechanism and have failed to answer questions in any credible way.
"Their vague replies to simple queries, their reluctance to provide any real information, the confused and contradictory answers that they trot out, have lacked credibility, accountability and any attempt at transparency.
"The confusion around funding is at the very heart of the whole water services debacle with its legislation railroaded through Leinster House. Many of us walked out in protest at what we saw as the the undue, unwise and unjustified haste that it was being forced through the various legislative stages.
“I expect that the next step following this scrutiny proposal will be the appearance of Irish Water, Department of Finance officials, representatives from the Central Statistics Offiice, and even the Minister for Finance all coming before the Committee as part of these hearings."
"People have serious and legitimate questions surrounding Irish Water, but I am hopeful that this new mechanism will facilitate and provide some new answers.