Sunday 21 January 2018

Looks like embattled utility will be 'on the books'

Ervia chief executive Michael McNicholas
Ervia chief executive Michael McNicholas
John Downing

John Downing

This one looks like the makings of another political mess - with Irish Water again in the middle. Politically, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Environment Minister Alan Kelly will be in the firing line. But let's not forget that it was Michael Noonan's Finance Department which did all the statistical modelling and advised on the structure of Irish Water.

A central part of the thinking behind setting up a stand-alone national water utility was that it could raise badly needed investment money without driving up the national debt.

Time and again, when it looked like it might be better to at least shelve Irish Water and water charges, the Government clung to the idea of resolving the nation's water and sewerage deficiencies by raising revenue from citizens and borrowing investment money off the books.

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