Water ownership referendum required – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Limerick City TD Maurice Quinlivan has called for a referendum on water ownership to be held to ensure Irish Water remains in public ownership.
Deputy Quinlivan said;
“Why are we still debating this issue, a year after the election which saw 90 of us were elected to this Chamber by the people on foot of the Right2Change-Right2Water campaign?
“A great deal of time and money has been wasted due to Fine Gael introducing water charges and installing redundant water meters across this country, despite the total opposition of the public.
“In fact over €460 million has been wasted to date, installing meters that are not needed.
“Here we are again tonight, now discussing the best way to refund money to people who should not have been forced to pay for water in the first place.
“We should be spending time debating solutions to other pressing problems such as the 902 people who were on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick last month.
"I will be raising this as a topical issue for debate tomorrow to challenge the Minister on what he is doing to address this.
“Also it perplexes me as to why the Government will not agree to have a referendum on water charges. We will probably have a number of referendums next year, so why not include one on keeping water services in public ownership?
“Water is one of the most valuable commodities in the world, and will become even more valuable due to climate change.
"It is inevitable that people and corporations will want to profit from this demand and privatisation will happen, as it does in other countries, if we do not put the matter of public ownership in the constitution.
“It is important that we keep water provision in this country in public ownership and I’ve no doubt a referendum to this effect would be passed successfully."