Recall Seanad amid Irish Water Fiasco – Senator David Cullinane
Sinn Féin Seanad leader, Senator David Cullinane, is supporting a recall of the Seanad in order to discuss the very serious consequences arising from the failure of Irish Water to pass the Eurostat test
Senator Cullinane said:
“Sinn Féin and other members of the Opposition are calling for a recall of the Seanad on foot of the Eurostat test which determined that Irish Water will not be able to go off balance sheet.
“The gravity of this ruling cannot be downplayed – it has serious consequences for government water strategy and for Irish tax payers.
“Sinn Féin has always been critical of the government’s rationale for the setting up of Irish Water. It is a service we are already paying for. Irish Water have given us little more than a masterclass in mismanagement where precious millions are being spent and squandered with nothing to show for it.
“We pointed out last year that Irish Water could not be kept off the state’s balance sheet for numerous reasons, with the ‘conservation grant’ being nothing but a ruse to convince Eurostat that Irish Water was a viable commercial enterprise. Irish Water was not operational long enough to go off balance sheet either according to Eurostat.
“What is more, the figures are simply not adding up, especially with the huge levels of non-compliance by Irish people. We are in a situation where the level of non-payment means that the cost of the water conservation grant will actually exceed money returned by the payment of domestic water charges.
“This means that the government will have to either increase water charges or scrap the conservation grant if they wish to fulfil the plans they set out. This would leave the Irish people at a financial loss either way.
“It is an embarrassing set-back and has real consequences for the funding of our water services. However it is ultimately the Irish people who will carry these costs. Government Ministers are speaking from both sides of their mouth and should scrap these water charges once and for all.”