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Government has questions to answer on establishment of Irish Water – Stanley

19 April, 2012 - by Brian Stanley TD

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD, has challenged the government on the establishment of Irish Water.

Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Stanley said:

“Sierra Support Services, a Siteserv PLC company, has secured a contract worth up to €60 million to become the sole services provider of installation, maintenance and testing of domestic boilers to Bord Gáis Eireann. On March 17th it was reported that Siteserv had been sold to businessman Denis O’Brien for €45.42 million. This raises serious questions about who will receive the contract for the installation and maintenance of over a million water meters. The Tánaiste’s guarantee today that the water sector will not be privatised rings hollow.

“This government continues to spin myths about water charges and water meters. These myths need to be challenged. Firstly, the public do not get water for free. They already pay for their water. They pay through their taxes. Secondly there is the myth that all other citizens in the EU pay water charges. This is simply not true. Sinn Féin Assembly Minister Conor Murphy resisted introducing water charges despite Westminster attempts to impose charges in the north. Finally, the government would have us believe that water metering reduces consumption. This again is untrue. The British-based Environmental Agency UK outlined that in England, where water metering has been in place for many years, consumption is at 158 litres per head per day. While in Dublin the Dublin Water Supply Report of 2008 showed consumption is at 148 litres per head per day.

“This government would be far better off investing money from the National Pension Reserve Fund in creating real jobs that have a positive legacy. The money being used for meters should be invested in upgrading our aging and leaking water distribution system.

“The introduction of water meters and water charges has more to do with setting up the water sector for privatisation and nothing to do with water conservation. Water meters and charges will be resisted every inch of the way by Sinn Féin.”

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