FF accuses Phil Hogan of misleading the Dáil

Embattled Environment Minister Phil Hogan has been accused of misleading the Dáil over the massive €180m start-up costs for Irish Water.

Phil Hogan: FF misleading with 'selective quote'

The charge was made by Fianna Fáil environment spokesperson Barry Cowen after he claimed Mr Hogan told a Dáil committee in Nov 2012 that the launch bill would be €10m.

Mr Cowen said it has since been revealed that the key Government Economic Management Council had agreed the €180m figure three months before Mr Hogan gave evidence to the Oireachtas environment committee.

“Either Minister Hogan deliberately lied about how much taxpayers’ money was being spent on setting up Irish Water, or he accidentally gave a gross underestimation to the Oireachtas Environment Committee in November 2012,” said Mr Cowen.

“Either way, we now know that when Minister Hogan publicly stated that the cost would be €10m, he knew that €180m had already been committed three months previously.

“I believe that Minister Hogan is deliberately trying to confuse people to save his own political skin as this controversy rumbles on.

Mr Hogan hit back by insisting Fianna Fáil was being misleading with a “selective quote”.

He said the €10m figure referred only to the costs that would be provided by his department, not the overall figure.

Mr Hogan accused opponents of trying to smear Bord Gais workers.

Mr Hogan admitted start-up costs for Irish Water were “substantial”, but said the ESB had spent €100m on a billing system in 2005.

He accused opposition parties of twisting the facts to suit a political agenda.

Mr Hogan came under sustained criticism in the Dáil over his failure to get a grip on the launch costs for the metering monopoly, which is to spend €86m on outside consultants.

He said that Irish Water would produce huge savings for the State.

“The Government simply cannot continue with the current situation with over €1bn of taxpayers’ money being spent annually on water services, but with 40% leaking into the ground,” said Mr Hogan. “Furthermore, there are significant additional requirements for capital investment in water to meet our EU water quality requirements.

“The establishment of the company will deliver major savings of approximately €2bn over the next eight years.”

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said Irish people were now expected to pay for water, while access to it is seen as a right in the developing world.

Related Articles

'Tap the Refund' appeal urges people to donate water charge refunds to Africa

Irish Water refunds due by end of the month

Government rejects idea of referendum on Irish Water

1,000 km of Victorian piping needs to be replaced at cost of €13bn: Irish Water

More in this Section

Government ‘using Trump tactics to downplay the homeless crisis’

It wasn’t me, I was in UK, says man arrested in hotel

Home prices to keep rising for up to 7 years as supply drives market

No sale: Michael Flatley’s Castlehyde mansion off open market

Breaking Stories

23-year-old woman charged in connection with Blanchardstown shooting

Here are tonight’s lotto results…

Government plans to extend GP visit cards for carers criticised by both sides

Look out in armed raid later stopped for drink driving and caught ’green-blue handed’


Meghan Markle’s sparkle sets the stage for must-have fashion items

Not buying Irish at Christmas costs us dearly

GameTech: B-listers offer plenty of gameplay

Judi Dench branching out into her other passion

More From The Irish Examiner