No surprise at water refund delays - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Following today’s admission by Irish Water that the refund of domestic water charge payments would be delayed, Sinn Féin spokesperson on water Eoin Ó Broin said he was "not surprised and that the Minister’s setting of unrealistic deadlines coupled with the delay in publishing the legislation was the reason.”
Deputy Ó Broin continued:
“When Minister Eoghan Murphy published this legislation on the 20th of September it was highly unlikely that his refund timeline commitment would be met.
“This is a piece of complex legislation that does not solely deal with the issue of refunds. This Bill also addresses issues such as medical waivers, and the charging regime for so-called excess use.
"It was hugely optimistic and naive for Minister Murphy to presume that this legislation would go through all stages at warp speed.
“Given this government’s past history with rushing through water and planning legislation it is important that sufficient time is allocated for the necessary scrutiny of the Bill.
“We were originally told that this legislation would be ready last June, then this deadline was pushed due to the Fine Gael leadership election contest and was due in July. It wasn’t published until three months later. We were never given a reason for the delay.
“One could speculate that this delay was due to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail behind the scenes negotiations to come with a dodgy deal on the issue.
“If there’s any explanation of the delay it’s down to the Oireachtas not been given sufficient time to scrutinise and debate the legislation.
“Furthermore it is a bit rich of Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen, who has poor track record of scrutinising legislation at committee, to suggest the blame lies on opposition parties who were doing the job he was meant to be doing and scrutinising the Bill as opposed to sitting on his hands and nodding along in support of the government. “