The abolition of Irish Water would cost €900 million, according to Brendan Howlin – – Our News, Your Views

The abolition of Irish Water would cost €900 million, according to Brendan Howlin


The Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has claimed today that shutting down Irish Water at this stage would cost somewhere in the region of €900 million.

His comments were made in response to claims by opposition parties that they would get rid of the quango at a far less cost, and would fund water supply by other means.

Both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein said that they would abolish Irish Water if elected.

At the party’s Ard Fheis, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that Irish Water “should be abolished”, adding that: “It has failed and it should go before it does any more damage.”

Sinn Fein then claimed that it would cost as little as €141 million to get rid of the hated utility, and that the provision of water would be funded through alternative measures, such as a third rate of tax.

But Howlin retorted that “They’ve both (the opposition parties) said they will abolish Irish Water so the consequences of that would be that they would have to find €900 million.” He added that scrapping Irish Water altogether would involve the loss of €300 million of income in “cash terms” and also “just under €600 million in capital”.

The future of Irish Water hangs in the balance of an EU decision regarding its long-term financial viability as an independent entity. If the EU rules against this, thus keeping the company in the Government’s books, the Cabinet’s spending scope would be severely reduced at the next budget.

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