Irish Water to splash out millions on redundancies – Ó Domhnaill

Taxpayer to fork out again for latest fiasco

 

Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has criticised the latest moves by Environment Minister Phil Hogan to pump even more money into Irish Water, this time to pay for a redundancy scheme. Reports suggest Minister Hogan has asked the Government for €39 million to reduce staff numbers at the super quango as it takes over responsibilities from local authorities.

 

Senator Ó Domhnaill commented, “This is the latest farce in Irish Water’s short history. €180 million has already been spent on the setting up of this entity, half of that going towards consultant costs. Despite the massive cash injection, not one cent has been spent on fixing leaking pipes or improving the water service in Donegal or in any county across the country.

 

“This Government has focused all its energy in setting up this bonus-driven quango, while ignoring all of the problems with the current infrastructure. Now it looks certain to approve a €39 million payout to let go 1,100 staff that are working on the roll out of services across the country. The Minister’s priority seems to be the introduction of water charges, while doing nothing to improve water quality or water services for households.

 

“People in Donegal are angry at being made to pay for a sub-standard service, what’s worse is that they still don’t know how much they’re expected to fork out. The Government has promised time and again to publish the exact charges, yet families are relying on newspaper reports to give them an idea of the amount they’ll be facing. Householders also feel frustrated that so little of the money is being invested back into the local community; 80% of money collected from the Local Property Tax was earmarked for the area in which it was collected, however the reality is that €500 million of the money collected was put towards Irish Water.

 

“This latest announcement will further incense ordinary taxpayers. They’ve paid tens of millions to set up this gold plated quango, and are now expected pay again to make 1,100 workers redundant, while at the same time managers and executives are awarded large bonuses. The Government needs to begin examining its priorities seriously and instead of wasting money on bonuses and highly paid consultants should be focusing on improving leaks, water quality and services for the thousands of households who are paying for Irish Water.

Posted: Apr 24, 2014     |     Categories: Uncategorized