‘The Money Will Cover The Cost Of Getting The Money’



The money collected will only cover collection?

Of the money?


Independent TD Stephen Donnelly explains:

Last night the Dáil debated Irish Water…there was a lot of understandable emotion on all sides of the House, but I thought it would be useful to bring the stark facts back to the table:
1. The money paid by Irish households will not be used to pay for water…it will be used to pay for the cost of taking the money.
2. Even if the money could be raised for free, the answer is to reduce the operating costs of Irish Water, as is done abroad, and use those savings to upgrade the water infrastructure;
3. Irish Water has been set up in a cloud of incompetence and secrecy – and so I’ve written to the Chair of the Environment Committee requesting a full investigation.
Public services must be high quality, efficient, universally accessible, and paid for progressively…Irish Water is the latest example of an out-of-date political system stuck in the past, and incapable of delivering for the people.

Thanks Barry

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61 thoughts on “‘The Money Will Cover The Cost Of Getting The Money’

  1. jeremy kyle

    Does he mean it’ll just cost that much the first time?

    Or does he mean the money Irish Water takes will only ever make enough from charges to cover the cost of taking the money?

    1. JimmytheHead

      I think the main point hes trying to make is that everything we’ve been told about how the charge is to upgrade our water treatment / repair pipes / raise the standard of drinking water …. is all lies and that the money spent so far (500 million ish) has been spent mainly on installation of meters and consultancy fees.

      1. donkey_kong

        It’s a neoliberal wet dream. invent a charge to levy on the masses whether the charge is meaningles or not

    1. Jimmy 2 tones

      Stop trying to put it on labour…this is ALL FG’s doing. They need to be wiped out asap

      1. Eliot Rosewater

        This is why you should never go in as a junior partner in a coalition government.

    1. Rep

      The millionaire and the minimum wage worker both pay the same per unit for water. The poorer you are, the more of your income you will pay for water.

          1. jeremy kyle

            If someone can’t afford food in a first world country would you expect them to just starve?

          2. Blublu

            AH Jimmy you made a good point above, why ruin it? I somehow imagine that soup kitchens and hostels will continue to also provide water for free.

            The only argument against taxing water consumption is that it’s naturally occuring, relatively inexpensive to filter (and costs aren’t directly related to amount) and we are ALREADY TAXED for capital works for water.

          3. Clampers Outside!

            @Blublu…. already taxed? OK.

            So, I take it then, you’d be OK if the govt just increased that ‘current’ tax rather than introducing a new one to cover the upgrade.

            I don’t drive presently so I’m super cool with that!


          4. JimmytheHead

            @Blublu – Taxing water usage has never been the issue for me, what I cant tolerate is the mishandling of this issue by elitist snobs who use our underfunded water infrastructure as an excuse to suck more money from the middle/lower class. They then give away huge multi million government sanctioned tenders to their own mates (who helped finance their campaigns) then as soon as their cover is blown, what do they do? Retire on 6 figure tax payer funded pension or get moved to a different department.

            Hang them from the gates of the Dáil and make their families pay for the rope.

          5. Blublu

            @Clampers I was just stating that we already pay for water works through tax, it’s a fact. I think you misconstrued what I said.

            @Jimmy I don’t disagree with you there, I just disagree with your point about soup kitchens.

          6. Clampers Outside!

            @Blublu… not at all. I was answering this… “we are ALREADY TAXED for capital works”.

            And everyone knows that the tax raised that way is not enough.

            So, I asked, would you be happy to have that tax raised to cover the short fall?

          7. Blublu

            Ah ok so you want to know about BluBlu’s ideal scenario. I’m not against taxing people for water. I’m no expert but ideally I’d like to see Water Works improvements to be paid for from General tax, preferably levies (but levies are never actual levies in Ireland). I would then like a usage allowance for all people with any usage over this taxed by consumption. This would cover running the utility and general maintenance and protect a scarce resource.

            Problem is the above makes sense in a perfect world. Big once-off capital outflow to install meters, upgrade works set up (efficient) utility. In reality the motivation for setting up Irish Water was to initially increase income to the government so my idea doesn’t work for that purpose unfortunately.

            I’m sure you’ll pick up on something stupid there, but I’m actually quite busy so had to give you my abridged view. Do forgive me.

      1. serf

        It should be a usage charge, otherwise its moral hazard (no incentive for individuals to conserve water, but entire society suffers from resultant wastage. If some can’t afford it, then the social protection & income tax rates need to be reviewed. Income tax and social protection are the most effective way to address “progressivity”.

    2. Blublu

      It’s not progressive at the moment. That’s what I find to be the funniest part of the whole saga. The government have completely ruined any economic/ environmental advantage to taxing water by putting a flat charge on it. That’s what I’d like to get out and protest.

    3. gertrude

      consumption taxes are not progressive. vat is a consumption tax, vat is based on usage. vat is the least progressive of all taxes.

  2. 15 cents

    see.. if we had a government with ANY sort of record for running things well, id be more open to the water charges .. but because they eff everything up you just know your money will definetely not go to where it’s meant to be. they just saw the country starting to do well again and thought ‘great, lets take more off them’ and now they cant go back because theyve stuck with it for so long. well ive had enough, i wont be paying any water bills and they can arrest me if they want, at least theyll have to pay for my water if im in prison. infuriating government. absolutely infuriating.

  3. Mr. T.

    This is actually a thinly veiled argument for privatization. So is he joining Fianna Fail or what?

  4. The Bottler

    In defence of a flat charge, I presume it costs the same to treat a millionaire’s poo as that of a struggling socialist!

    1. jeremy kyle

      That’s true, but 60 quid to a millionaire is a negligible amoun and they can waste all the money they want, but it’s a significant amount to someone not so well off.

      It seems unfair to burden someone so disproportionately for such a basic and essential commodity.

      Does that make me a dirty communist? I don’t know.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Awarding a ‘conservation’ grant to someone who hoses their jammer and their lawn every weekend is just as hypocritical.

  5. Atticus

    The current charge doesn’t even come close to covering the IW wage bill. Once IW comes into proper effect the charges will sky rocket, otherwise they’ll just be borrowing to pay the wages and we all know how effective that is.

  6. miko

    I gave a preference for Stephen Donnelly at the last election but won’t be. He’s becoming the new Shane Ross with the populist nonsense.
    1. IW raise a small % of it’s running costs shocker. It’s no secret that the current charges won’t cover anything like the cost of running IW. No secret at all. So I can’t understand why he is acting like he has discovered anything here. You could say that the amount raised only pays for Wavin Pipes that IW buy. Or just for their vehicles or any other way you want to. The fact of the matter is that the current pricing mechanism is temporary to tamp down on the anti-water rabble until the election is over. Highly cynical, but nowhere near as cynical as opposition to charging for water.
    2. non sequitur. You can do both. Do you think the billing system for ESB, Bord Gais, any other service is free.
    3. Arrant populism and dishonesty. Other then the politicisation of water charges I can’t really see that IW have done anything wrong other then to be a football for a populist campaign to wreck the country even more then Bertie managed (and yes, a lot of these fools could make it worse).

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Em, …you were doing fine until point 3 and ” I can’t really see that IW have done anything wrong other then to be a football for a populist campaign” …which basically means you see them having done no wrong at all themselves.

      Have you been to specsavers?

      1. miko

        I’d be interested in know what they have done themselves so wrong?
        Billing is a mess because of the political dimension of it.
        The rest? Every “claim” I saw, whether it’s “overstaffing” or costs had reasonable justifications when I looked at it or blown wildly out of proportion. Are IW perfect? Far from it! Are they what you would reasonably expect in an organisation inheriting a multitude of old council sections and creaking infrastructure? Yes. Pretty much.
        To my mind IW are being held to an extraordinary and impossible standard. I’ve yet to see any claim by it (Donnelly’s being the latest) stand up to any scrutiny. And the coverage at this point is shocking in it’s lack of balance and more importantly, proportion.
        Don’t be me wrong. Plenty wrong with this state and big issues that need to be tackled. IW is not one of them.

    2. gertrude

      > It’s no secret that the current charges won’t cover anything like the cost of running IW. No secret at all.

      yeah you missed his point. his point is the charges won’t cover the cost of collecting the charges.

      1. miko

        And? What is your/his point? This is known. The charges will increase over the next decade until the cover the entire cost of IW. It would be great to do it from the get go but like most new charges introduced to the public it takes time to get people to adjust. Cynical but hey, that’s Irish People for you.

  7. squiggleyjoop

    I was in Specsavers last week and they kept offering me free water in a quite relentless manner. Is a conspiracy afoot?

    1. scottser

      in fairness that figure would be reduced if we had the polish lads doing it, but we left them off during the crash. we should take the opportunity of recruiting a load more when they come over for the footie at the weekend.

    2. Kieran NYC

      And to prevent the leakage from getting bigger. And to fix sewage/treatment stations. And replace the lead pipes. And to fix the ‘boil water’ notices.

      You have to stop the rot before you can repair the system.

  8. 15 cents

    they know the charges wont cover running the quan.. sorry .. company? anyway, thats why they say its a fixed charge etc. . . coz once they have everyone signed up, theyll wait a little while, then each year raise the charges a bit. they’ll say and promise anything just to get us to sign up, and once u do, thats it, theyll be raising the charges as they like. thats why its important for everyone to stay together and not sign up

    1. Miko

      Exactly. Good governance for retar…. I mean the Irish Public. It’s no secret and is a reflection on the influence of the freeloading class in Ireland. But what matter, eventually we will pay for water and the money in central funds reallocated towards education and healthcare.

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