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Irish Water costs opening a floodgate

How do we rate our Government and its individual ministers? Is it by the promises they make or by their performance? Why do we not put more pressure on ministers to save money?

According to media reports, there has been a considerable increase in litigation, which has added to the burden that taxpayers and consumers have been paying over the last four years.

During that period, the cost of services provided under government control, such as education, health insurance, electricity and gas, etc, has increased by 11.5%, or almost 3% per annum.

Goods and services provided by the private sector have increased by 3% over the four-year period, by 0.75% per annum.

In England, when bankers make mistakes, the bank alone has to bear its recovery costs; in Ireland, they are passed onto the consumer.

Now, witness the fiasco in the establishment of Irish Water, and how the minister involved has no qualms about how he intends to solve the cost of staffing.

He has no qualms about pushing an extra cost of €2bn onto water consumers.

Why does this minister not consider a sensible, less costly way of starting Irish Water, by selecting 100 or so employees from the existing set-up, roughly 15 or 16 from each sector, and when they are settled in, transfer another few hundred and continue, over a couple of years, until he has a fully staffed Irish Water?

What difference does it really make whether we get Irish Water in this century or the next?

Richard Prendergast
Co Cork


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