We've been fleeced on water and those responsible will walk away
There should be just one item on the agenda of the Oireachtas Committee into water charges when it meets for the first time today - how to emerge from the Irish Water debacle with the least cost to the Exchequer.
It is becoming increasing clear that the overriding concern of politicians responsible for the creation of our aborted water charges regime is how to extricate themselves from the fiasco with their dignity left intact. The danger is that, in the unseemly rush to find a solution that offers an escape route, public interest will be sacrificed on the altar of whatever is politically expedient.
According to a report in a national newspaper yesterday, it is expected that Irish Water will have cost the State more than €2bn by the end of this year. This figure does not include the €570m that was spent installing water meters or loan facilities that have been underwritten by the State.