21/10/2014 Senator Daly speaks to the Seanad on Irish Water

Senator Daly: I, too, call for a suspension of the operation of Irish Water. We have seen the Government ignore the reports of its own consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, who told it not to establish Irish Water in the way it did. Now it is giving out about the fact that it is not working, even though it was told that it would not work in the first place. I do not know why it is crying because in 2009 Fine Gael policy was to establish Irish Water; therefore, they it has been dealing with this issue a long time. Last week the Government parties were borrowing money to buy votes to win an election. What they have done in the case of Irish Water is borrow money to establish it, although it will end up losing them votes and an election. They seem to be out of touch; their own Ministers were saying people would be charged a modest amount of money. When one is being charged over €180 for the first hour of a call-out to plug a leak and hundreds of euros annually, it is not by any standard a modest amount of money for people who are struggling and who, in many cases, only have €10 at the end of the month for discretionary spending. They keep on squeezing those in the middle with families who are struggling with mortgages and are now going to be struggling with water bills from a quango that they set up.

The Government was told not to set up this quango but it did so anyway. Now it is crying that it is in existence even though in 2009 the establishment of Irish Water was in a Fine Gael policy paper.

Members opposite have given out about NAMA, the National Asset Management Agency, and its lack of transparency. I remind them that Fianna Fáil brought in the NAMA transparency Bill……..but Members opposite shot it down.

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