Jobs & Economic success must no longer be overshadowed by water issue

Cork North West TD Michael Creed today highlighted the significant progress that has been made by this Government in restoring the economy to significant growth and easing the crisis in unemployment. In a letter to the Taoiseach, Deputy Creed outlined five measures relating to Irish water which need to be addressed in order to return Government focus to ending the jobless crisis and ensuring economic growth reached the regions. Deputy Creed said:

“This week we have seen Ireland ranked as Europe’s fastest growing economy. The number of people on the Live Register fell by 37,882 to 358,630 in October 2014, a reduction of 9.6% on the corresponding month last year. Yesterday marked the sale by NTMA of €3.75 billion of 15 year bonds. This 15 year bond is the first longer-dated bond issued since 2009. The yield of 2.487% is a record low yield and provides a huge vote of confidence in Ireland from investors. Total tax revenue of €31,976 million was collected to end-October, an increase of €2,734 million (9.4%) on the same period last year. In addition, cumulative tax revenues are €1,092 million (3.5%) ahead of target.

“All the key economic indicators are pointing in the right direction. The Government have successfully guided the Country out of Troika programme without requiring a back-up option – a situation thought impossible in 2011 when this Government took office. There have been dramatic reforms in local Government, the public service and in the Oireachtas itself. Yet now as the outlook for the future is beginning to look positive for the first time since 2008, the Government is floundering.

“I attribute much of this malaise to the ad-hoc manner in which Irish water has been established. This debacle has eroded much of the public’s confidence in the Government and its capacity to lead. Therefore I have today written to the Taoiseach and asked him to take the following measures in order to take control of the situation:

· Dismissal of the current Board of Irish Water.

· Dismissal of the Chief Executive Mr. John Tierney.

· The bonus payment structure for Irish Water must be abandoned.

· Every effort short of Referendum must be made to convince the public that Irish Water will remain in public ownership

· Address concerns about affordability, particularly for those where there are multiple adults in the household. This may involve a flat fee for an appropriate time to facilitate the roll out of the necessary infrastructure for metering.

“The Government still has a significant programme of work to complete in order to continue the momentum being generated in the economy. I do not see any viable political alternative to this Government emerging which can put together a Programme for Government which can build on and expand economic recovery to all corners of the country. It is imperative that the Taoiseach now acts to finally resolve the outstanding issues pertaining to Irish Water and move on”.

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