Saturday 10 December 2016

It's hard to swallow, but Irish Water's here to stay

Government needs to admit errors, writes Eddie Molloy, then reassert our real need for an effective utility

Eddie Molloy

Published 22/08/2015 | 02:30

Water grant
Water grant

The Government has been rightly castigated for its handling of Irish Water, from the blundering start-up overseen by Phil Hogan, through the list of misconceived ruses to redeem the situation, all of which have boomeranged, right up to the latest revelation that a separate data base will be needed to manage the payment of the absurd €100 "conservation grant", and confusion over who should get it.

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As a case of 'old politics', the Irish Water saga is hard to beat, but the Opposition is no less guilty of 'old politics', seeking short-term political gain with populist rants about "bloated quangos", "millions squandered on consultants", water being "a human right", paying for water out of "general taxation", "fixing leaks first" and a "bonus culture".

This is the kind of pap offered, for example, by Richard Boyd-Barrett in a recent radio interview, as the basis for "scrapping Irish Water".

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