Irish Water challenged - Hitting the nail on the head

Fergus O’Dowd’s assertion yesterday that Irish Water has "abjectly failed" in its approach to introducing water charges will be echoed far more widely than the utility company might care to acknowledge.

The debate has been focussed on what people will have to pay, an agenda encouraged by those who hope to profit from the inevitable anger.

How much better it would have been if the “cosseted quango with a bonus culture” had put the reality that water charges are the only way we can rebuild a leaking and extremely wasteful system centre stage. The way the debate was framed allowed the quango to be characterised as a tax collector rather than an organisation that can drive positive environmental change.

Unfortunately the “cosseted quango with a bonus culture” charge seems too true already.

Responding, Irish Water said employees avail of a performance-related award scheme, adding that no awards have yet been paid.

If earlier public sector assessments are any indication then at least four-in-five Irish Water employees can expect a bonus. In the far less indulgent world where the majority of people live, meeting targets means little more than holding onto your job. If it looks like a gravy train, if it sounds like a gravy train ...

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