From top: Brendan Howlin; from left Former Irish Water head of PR Elizabeth Arnett, Labour TD and former Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Pat Tierney, CEO of Irish Water in December 2014
It’s all free water under the bridge.
“We were under the cosh to build a huge utility like Irish Water. To get a national metering programme in place and charge for water in the space of three years, which we just should have said no to. I’m sorry we didn’t.
“Within Government, we certainly had that battle with Fine Gael. At a critical point, the decision we made was to stick with it as opposed to pulling down the Government at that stage.
“Because we were afraid of the consequences for our country if we pulled the Government down. But we paid too high a price for that and we should certainly have stood our ground in relation to Irish Water.
“This was one of the things we had to make progress on. Because they were signing off monthly on the paycheck for the nation, in order for us to pay pensions and pay the cost of wages and so on.
“Under normal circumstances, that should have been a ten year project. I certainly think it was handled badly.”
Brendan Howlin, Labour Party Leader in today’s Irish Mirror
Lest we forget…
Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has said that there cannot be a situation where people decide to not pay their water bill.
It follows on from Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s comments on Monday night, in which he refused to rule out measures that could mean unpaid charges are recouped from peoples’ wages and social welfare payments.
Outside the Dáil fellow Labour politician, Minister Brendan Howlin told UTV Ireland
“There can’t be a situation where anyone of us decide not to pay our bills. If you come to a supermarket checkout and decide “Nah, I’m not paying the bill” and walk off – that’s just not the way the system works.”