Saturday 19 August 2017

Irish Water running up huge debt with little to show in investment

From left: Elizabeth Arnett, head of communications at Irish Water; Environment Minister Alan Kelly; and Irish Water boss John Tierney at a press conference last year
From left: Elizabeth Arnett, head of communications at Irish Water; Environment Minister Alan Kelly; and Irish Water boss John Tierney at a press conference last year
Colette Browne

Colette Browne

The numbers paying their Irish Water bills has exceeded Environment Minister Alan Kelly's wildest dreams. He's not merely satisfied, he is "beyond satisfied", ecstatic - that just 46pc of people are actually paying them.

Channelling Monty Python's Black Knight - who insisted his injuries were only a flesh wound even as his opponent hacked off his arms and his legs - Mr Kelly was adamant it was the Government's plan all along that most people would ignore their water bills.

In a flurry of media interviews last week, he likened compliance with the water charges to the household charge, which was also dismal - failing to note that fee was ultimately transferred to Revenue, and reborn as a local property tax, because collection rates were so dire.

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