Sink or Swim – Details on Eurostat’s Decision to Drown Irish Water – – Our News, Your Views

Sink or Swim – Details on Eurostat’s Decision to Drown Irish Water


Eurostat have released their details on the reasons for their decision on Irish Water.

This week the E.U. Statistics Agency Eurostat has reviewed and denied Irish Water’s claim to be considered an independent business. They described the company as being a “non-market entity controlled by government and should be classified inside the government sector” and we are here to give you the details.

One of the main factors was the considerable control that the government still has over the utility, this was detailed as the influence that the state has over board appointments and operations including pricing parameters. This could lead to the raising of water charges.

The government had promised that there would be a cap set in place to prevent inflation of water bills, however Eurostat have criticised caps allocated to households which were set to protect 70% of households. They also criticised allowances given for children and others.

Another key issue described in the report was the transferral of local authority initiatives, schemes and facilities for water directly to Irish Water, as well as the transferral of staff directly to Irish Water from local government offices. They also detailed their problems with the government financial support given to Irish Water through the €100 water conservation grant and through capital funding of the company, which has and will continue to cost the State millions in the coming years.

Irish Water had failed in their first year to pass the 50% test, as even though the Central Statistics Office had calculated the company as having a ratio of  54%, Eurostat calculated a 48% ratio, which is just under the margin to pass. This test is based on whether a company’s sales can cover at least 50% of the production costs that are accumulated in a multi-year period. However due to mass non-payment these figures are set to drop.

The mass non-payment movement was also mentioned by Eurostat, as due to the small percentage of people who had registered, and ever fewer who had paid, (46% of those registered for the first 12 week billing period) the companies future was too uncertain to be granted independence from the State.

Irish Waters future seems more uncertain now than ever.


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