Tuesday 24 January 2017

Whatever happens - €5.5bn upgrade is a must

Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30

The draft report of the Expert Commission appointed to examine the future funding model for our water services would appear to suggest that liability should fall back on the State, and only those consuming vast quantities be forced to pay. (stock photo)
The draft report of the Expert Commission appointed to examine the future funding model for our water services would appear to suggest that liability should fall back on the State, and only those consuming vast quantities be forced to pay. (stock photo)

It all seemed much clearer back in 2010 when the troika came to town. One condition of securing a multi-billion euro bail out to rescue the State was that all citizens pay for water.

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Just over seven years later, we're still arguing. The draft report of the Expert Commission appointed to examine the future funding model for our water services would appear to suggest that liability should fall back on the State, and only those consuming vast quantities be forced to pay.

Notwithstanding the fact whether through general taxation or salary we will all pay anyway, this report will be taken as confirmation by those opposed to charging that they were right all along. But in the not too distant past, when the government of the day footed the bill, we didn't get the investment required to keep the network in good repair. That's why we face a €5.5bn-plus upgrade bill today.

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