herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Irish Water stonewall on numbers who register

Secretive Irish Water is still refusing to release details of the number of people that have registered for charges - more than a week after charges were officially introduced.

It comes despite spokesperson, Elizabeth Arnett suggesting on Tuesday that figures would be available by the end of this week.

The utility company has consistently refused to reveal how many people have registered their PPS numbers with it, of the number of people who have registered for charges.

The Herald first requested the figures on October 1, the day that charges were officially introduced, but Irish water refused to reveal them.

Then, on RTE radio's Sean O'Rourke programme on Tuesday, Ms Arnett indicated that the figures might finally become available in the coming days.

programme

"I will be looking at that, and may be coming out with something on that later this week in terms of that," she told the programme. "We're getting a very good response," she added.

"We're getting a lot in terms of people posting back and I would be saying to people if they could go online, it's a more convenient way for them to register, it takes less than five minutes," she said.

Put to Irish Water that Ms Arnett had committed to releasing figures by the end of this week, Irish Water again refused to provide the information.

"Elizabeth said on the Sean O'Rourke Show 'we may be coming out with something towards the end of the week'," a statement said.

The continuing absence of transparency comes just days after scathing criticism from former junior environment minister Fergus O'Dowd, who helped set up the company.

Mr O'Dowd said that the company had "abjectly failed" in selling its message to consumers.

"Irish Water has come across as arrogant and uncaring, demanding money and demanding PPS numbers without properly explaining why all of this is necessary," he said.

He added that the company's approach to introducing water charges was "an unmitigated disaster" and said he feared it was becoming "another cosseted quango with a bonus culture".

hnews@herald.ie

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