Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Mayo Cllr Lisa Chambers has described the planned creation of another new database for the flawed water conservation grant as another chapter in the never ending mess that is Irish Water. Data released under Freedom of Information has revealed that Department of the Environment has suggested the Local Government Management Agency could establish a new database of Irish Water customers and non-customers to be used by the Department of Social Protection to administer the grant from next year. The Department of Social Protection is now writing to households telling them they can now apply for the grant.
Cllr Chambers commented: “This whole scheme is fundamentally flawed and will do nothing to increase water conservation at all. This is all a direct result of the disastrous establishment of Irish Water and the rush to bring in water charges and install water meters. This Government have actually managed to introduce a new charge that will cost them money. Residents in Mayo are appalled at the level of incompetence and mis-management with Irish Water.
“The State is €800m worse off because of setting up Irish Water. This year alone it will actually lose €70m on water charges. This is because it is spending at least €135m on the water conservation grant, another €40m on water meter loans, €20m on billing, and will only take in around €120m in charges based on current compliance rates.
“Now the Government seems intent on setting up another new database. The newly revealed role for the Local Government Management Agency adds another layer to the complicated mess of Irish Water. This bureaucratic structure is now giving powers to a local authority agency to implement the water grant with a new website being established at extra cost. The Government’s countless U-turns on water charges and complete mis-management is leaving it chasing its tail and adding a new layer to the huge bureaucracy of Irish Water.
"Residents in Mayo are paying a high price for this unmitigated farce at the hands of Fine Gael and Labour," she concluded.