Alan Kelly says he doesn’t want ‘bonus culture’ in Irish Water

FF’s Cowen claims Minister putting action on bonus payments ‘on the long finger’

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly says it is not his “intention to see any form of bonus culture in Irish Water”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly says it is not his “intention to see any form of bonus culture in Irish Water”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has strongly reiterated his view that “I do not want to see any form of bonus culture” in Irish Water.

During the ongoing debate on the legislation to give effect to the Government’s changes to the water charges regime, Mr Kelly insisted he had been very clear about bonus money.

“It is not my intention to see any form of bonus culture in Irish Water. I don’t believe that that form of practice is the best way to do things and it’s not something I would have tolerated or set up.”

But Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen said that “effectively what you’re saying is that it’s going on the long finger”.

He said Mr Kelly’s remarks that “you think it will be dealt with, it has to be dealt with, you expect it will be dealt with and you will be instructing the board to deal with it”.

The Laois-Offaly TD said: “It’s incumbent on the Minister having made such comments that it wouldn’t have happened under his watch – maybe he can confirm that it’s going to be reversed under his watch in a definitive manner.”

Pay structure

He believed there was a way in which this could be reasonably dealt with.

He was confident it would be dealt with and done so as a matter of priority.

But Mr Cowen said there was “no indication as to what reporting structure will be put in place, so as members of this House can be assured that this matter will be dealt with effectively and that a timescale will be put in place under which those conditions can be retracted for employees”.

Earlier the Dáil voted by 82 to 48 on the establishment of a national public forum which would have between 12 and 60 members. The attendance of 130 of the 165 voting TDs last night was the largest turnout for a vote on the controversial legislation.

Independent TD Catherine Murphy said “people see the difference between paying for water and paying for Irish Water”. Even people who had no resistance to paying for water had a resistance to paying for Irish Water. “It is a quango within a quango.”