Failed Eurostat test must act as wake-up call on Irish Water – Smith

– Government should not be allowed to continue to waste taxpayers’ money –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the failure of Irish Water to meet the key Eurostat market test should be the nail in the coffin of this bloated superquango.  Taxpayers across Cavan and Monaghan will now have to foot the bill for the hundreds of millions of euro which is being wasted on this pointless utility.

Deputy Smith commented, “The confirmation that Irish Water has failed the market corporation test is the latest fiasco to hit the beleaguered utility company.  Since its inception, and despite the numerous controversies which it has become embroiled in, the Government has continued to throw good money after bad in a vain attempt to keep this bonus driven state funded company afloat.  The Government must wake up to the mess which it has created, take responsibility and abolish this wasteful entity.

“Earlier this month, it was revealed that fewer than half of all Irish Water customers had paid their bill – proof that people are unhappy with the way the company has been set up and is being run.  Now, it’s been confirmed that the company has failed to meet the Eurostat market test, which means the taxpayer will have to pump even more money into the already inflated quango.  Despite ploughing almost €1bn into Irish Water, not one extra cent has been spent on fixing pipes or leaks.

“The Government must stop deluding itself and realise that this Fine Gael inspired utility has failed spectacularly.  Irish Water has already accumulated borrowings of €850m yet Minister Alan Kelly has refused to disclose what we are paying on these loans.  We’ve reached a situation where taxpayers in Cavan, Monaghan and around the country are almost certainly paying a higher rate for these borrowings and now they will have to be fully accounted for on the State’s books.

“The only people to have benefitted from the setting up of Irish Water are the consultants who were paid €80m to advise on its establishment and the management who are awarded beefy bonuses on an annual basis.  Fine Gael and Labour should put a stop to this ill-thought out and ill-fated entity, call time on Irish Water and use a new delivery model to ensure a quality water service by using local authorities and a slimmed down National Water Infrastructure Company as has been advocated by Fianna Fáil”.