Editorial

Thursday 24 July 2014

Editorial: Government 'free' water allowance falls short

Published 28/06/2014|02:30

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There will be no free water allowance for children
There will be no free water allowance for children

AND so another twist in the sorry water charges fiasco. Just when families hoped they might be getting some relief from the latest levy on households, it now emerges that the 'free' allowance announced just last month will be less than promised.

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Irish Water has compiled data which shows that consumption per child is less than previously believed, and that the 104 litres of free water expected every day is unlikely to materialise.

It was all very different in early May when our leaders announced that a generous allowance of 38,000 litres would be provided to every child in the State.

But it wasn't this figure at all. It was "up to" 38,000 litres. It's a pity they didn't clarify this at the time.

Is it a coincidence that the free allowances were announced just weeks before the local elections, only for major questions to arise after people had gone to the polls?

The Government says it was always the intention to finalise the allowance after consumption data was gathered from meters.

But why conduct this exercise so late in the day?

The metering programme began last August.

Irish Water could and should have been asked to complete its fact-finding exercise months ago, so a realistic view of allowances could be taken.

Once again, the lack of foresight, honesty and candour from our politicians is coming home to roost.

It's no wonder the beleaguered public have grown a little cynical.

Irish Independent

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