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Eurostat’s detailed decisions shows government misinformation and incompetence – Doherty

30 July, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the decision letter from Eurostat to the CSO on Irish Water shows the government has been misinforming on the true nature of the decision and reveals an extraordinary level of incompetence in government assumptions. He said that Sinn Féin’s prediction that the nod and wink bluff of the so-called Water Conservation Grant would be called by Eurostat has been well and truly proven to be correct and that Irish Water is at only 27%, not 48%, of the required 50% revenue being realised independently.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Eurostat letter shows that Minister Noonan and other government Ministers have been blatantly misinforming about the true nature of the decision. In contrast to the government spin that Irish Water is at 48% of the required 50% test for revenue raised independent of government backing, Eurostat states clearly: ‘Finally, it is underlined that, if more realistic or prudent capital costs were considered, the ratio would then fall to 27%, which is a very low ratio…’. This is a hugely important statement that shows Irish Water falling far short of being considered ‘off book’.

“Eurostat also drive a horse and cart through the government’s attempt to pretend that the €100 so called Water Conservation Grant is independent of the Irish Water decision. Again unambiguously Eurostat says: ‘The intention of the grant of €100 per year is clearly to partially compensate for the new domestic billings….Eurostat therefore considers that the 100 euro grant should be netted from Irish Waters customers’ revenue…’. As Sinn Féin predicted, the EU accountants were not fooled by the nod and wink approach of this incompetent government.

“Contrary to government spin, Eurostat are clear that Irish Water is a long way of reaching any sort of ‘off book’ status. This report is a damning attack on the Irish government’s incompetence and once again shows that their sums simply don’t add up. It also exposes their misinformation.  27%, not 48%, is the relevant figure as far as Eurostat is concerned.

“The Eurostat letter is a brutal critique of a failed, misconceived and stupid ploy to get Irish Water through its first couple of years. Government incompetence has sunk that prospect now. Following the release of the Eurostat decision it is time the government stopped the spin and admitted defeat and abolished both water charges and the failed entity that is Irish Water.” 

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