Government and Irish Water using ‘Alice in Wonderland economics’ - Stanley
Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on the Environment Brian Stanley has claimed that the Government and Irish Water are using ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in relation to Irish Water finances. He questioned Minister Alan Kelly in relation to the fact that just 43% of people had paid their water bills, and that Irish Water still has to have its budget approved by Eurostat.
Deputy Stanley said:
“Only a total of €30 million has been received so far in domestic charges. When this is offset against the cost of the water conservation grant, which has been budgeted to cost €32 million per quarter, the figures clearly illustrate that Irish Water is in deficit.
“That makes a mockery of the reason for establishing Irish Water as being to keep funding for water services off the state balance sheet. The facts are that Irish Water and this Government have heaped huge sums through subsidies and various accountancy tricks onto the taxpayer. For this year alone, that comes to a total of €810 million.
“With operational costs reaching a staggering €900 million, it becomes clear that this is an unsustainable economic model. Government hopes of collecting €271 million in domestic water charges for the year is currently an unreachable figure. Sinn Féin in our 2015 budget proposal, based on figures provided by the department of finance, afforded €300 million to make up for the shortfall of the abolition of domestic water charges.”