We’ve posted before of our reservations about the establishment of Irish Water and the imposition of water rates on an already beleaguered Irish populace.
Today we learned that Irish Water spent €50 million on consultancy fees before it even came into being officially.
And the beneficiaries of this largesse are the usual suspects: Accenture & Oracle, major suppliers of AIB; Ernst & Young, former auditors of Anglo-Irish bank; and IBM IT provider to Bank of Ireland.
Spot the pattern yet?
Typically there appears to be little oversight of how this public money is being spent. Eamon Gilmore expressed his surprise at the expenditure, saying “it does seem to me to be a high figure”. So if the deputy leader of this country didn’t know about it, then who sanctioned the spend?
Is Irish water being given carte blanche to spend tax payers’ money, since they’ll be sure to recoup any expense from the same mugs through onerous water charges?
Of course they are.
The Sunday Times recently reported that Irish Water will be permitted to raise water prices every year if usage decreases and will be allowed to keep the profits from its operations for six years before passing savings on to customers.
With such a guaranteed windfall on the horizon, €50 million in consultancy fees feels like small change.