Irish Water bonuses will be linked to amount collected

Bonuses for Irish Water staff will be linked to the amount of money collected from households, the utility conceded.

The confirmation came as Irish Water also admitted it had paid for staff to complete research trips to France, the Netherlands, and the UK over the past year.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said performance-related pay raises for Irish Water staff are connected to the amount of money the semi-state company collects.

The minister’s confirmation will further anger campaigners against the levy. The public are already outraged over plans, in the coming years, for pay awards of up to 15% for some staff.

Public fury continued yesterday as RTÉ revealed the utility’s water-metering budget had shot up by over €100m within a matter of weeks.

In a written parliamentary reply last week, when asked whether performance-related targets for Irish Water staff relate to the collection of revenue, Mr Kelly had stated that bonuses or pay rewards were only earned subject to performances.

Workers at the company said last week they would fight any attempt by Irish Water to withhold pay awards next year.

Separately, the company has also told the Irish Examiner that employees have been sent on business trips to several European capitals in recent months.

The company said staff had been sent to France, the Netherlands, Wales, Scotland, the North, and England among other places over the last year.

It said that the visits involved examining “best practice examples of water infrastructure and operations” and other countries’ water utilities.

The company said it did not have a comprehensive list of all travel costs and expenses but that none of the research trips were long-haul.

Meanwhile, TDs have called for money spent on water services and by Irish Water to be examined by the Public Accounts Committee after it emerged the water metering budget shot up by over €100m in a matter of weeks.

RTÉ revealed the metering budget of €431.5m increased to €539m in just eight weeks after contracts had been awarded for meter installations.

Ervia, the parent company of Irish Water, said an initial estimate was drawn up before a survey was done on metering needs, which was carried out by external consultants. The final figure also reflected a “detailed scoping of the project”, it said.

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