How can the Government justify a €240 water charge for homes, when there are 29 Irish Water executives earning €2,000 a week?
That was the question raised at County Hall by Cllr Tom Jacob, who described the proposed charge as “just another penal tax on an already over taxed consumer”.
“How can this be justified, when there are 29 Irish Water executives on €2,000 a week? With a family in the home, the cost may be more. This has to stop,” he said.
He also questioned the amount of work involved in the installation of water meters by Irish Water.
“Suddenly, all the water pipes have to be changed - why? They were working up to now,” he said.
Supporting his motion, Caroline Dwane said: “€486 million has been used to set up Irish Water… it’s like having a cash register at the end of your footpath.”
At last week’s meeting of Portlaoise Town Council, separate motions on water meters were proposed by Cllr Jacob and Cllr Jerry Lodge.
Cllr Lodge asked that the council be presented with a comprehensive report on how many water meters were installed by Laois County Council prior to the advent of Irish Water. He also asked were these meters defective in any way and if not why are they being replaced, and was any compensation paid to the council for removal of their meters.
Irish Water replied that there were 9,528 domestic connections with an existing meter, and where possible Irish Water is re-using the meter box. Existing water meters have been transferred into the ownership of Irish Water as part of the overall transfer of assets.
“The council) should be compensated if there’s nothing wrong with (the meters),” said Cllr Lodge. “I find the information insufficient.”