We need to turn off the tap on water wastage
Politicians struggle to find answers to funding water services but, writes Sean Barrett, the challenge is local
Two years ago on these pages I sought the abolition of water tax and Irish Water. I had proposed 19 amendments in the Seanad and all were rejected.
The rejected amendments included stating the free allowance per day per person in legislation; protecting the consumer interest by involving the National Consumer Agency; using the Competition Authority to restrict the abuse of dominance by the Irish Water monopoly; and involving the investment appraisal functions of the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform in ensuring efficiency in both the investment and operations of the company.
The message then from Irish Water and its parliamentary promoters was clear. Irish Water was intended to be an independent republic. There would be no supervisory role for the Oireachtas, the Consumer Authority, the Competition Authority or the two government departments in charge of the public purse.