Sunday 17 December 2017

Politicians jumping ship on Irish Water

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

The election is over and, surprise surprise, we face another fine mess. Evidence, as if it were needed, that democracy is over-rated - the problem is, they haven't invented anything better. Only 59 TDs elected to our shiny new Dáil support the retention of water charges of €160/€260 annually. This includes members of the Green Party, who want free water allowances and tax relief. Labour and Fine Gael were scalded on the issue of Irish Water on the doorsteps of the nation.

All attempts to take the sting out of the charges failed. The Water Conservation Grant was shambolic. The farcial extension of a series of closing dates failed to entice the 1.3 million houses eligible to even apply. Crazy bureaucracy resulted in the €100 direct grant, instead of simply knocking it off your bill. If this wasn't all bad enough, conservation is not even on the agenda.

If the Government bungling was depressing, the opportunism displayed by the Opposition was even more so. Despite Fianna Fáil agreeing to the terms of the bailout plans in compliance with EU water directives which meant imposing charges, they shamelessly embraced populism in joining the stampede of all the other parties to reverse the water charge. So 99 TDs will vote in a parliamentary ballot at some point to deconstruct the hated edifice that is Irish Water.

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