The ongoing revelations concerning the establishment of Irish Water are making many people angry out in the community. People have been extremely surprised by the drip-feed of revelations over recent days. It is fair to say that, since the Government set up Irish Water, it has until recent days been run like a secret service, with very little information being given to anybody, particularly to Members of Dáil Éireann and the public. If one is to judge by the ministerial reaction of colleagues of the Minister, Deputy Hogan, they seem to be as surprised as everybody else about some of the revelations. While we do not know if that is fair, the Tánaiste said last week that with regard to the €50 million that was spent on consultants, value for money would have to be shown.
Despite the past two days, we still do not have full details in terms of all of the spend in regard to Irish Water. The Minister, Deputy Hogan's arrogant attitude of "It's none of my business" has annoyed people and made them especially angry. I also put it to the Tánaiste that people are particularly worried that families with young children could be facing a second tier of charges, given the proposals the regulator may have, and they will be particularly vulnerable to excessive water charges.
The way it was established as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis has led to a convoluted quagmire. That is why, for example, it was revealed yesterday that bonuses will be paid to the staff of Irish Water, despite the Minister, Deputy Joan Burton, saying that would be astonishing, and despite the Minister of State, Deputy Brian Hayes, saying two days ago that it was a public relations disaster and yesterday that paying bonuses would not be justified. The Taoiseach's spokesman said the same yesterday, namely, that no bonuses would be paid. We learned last evening that bonuses will be paid, that the Government approved the payment of bonuses, and that the Economic Management Council approved the structure of the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis, resulting in the reality of bonuses being paid.
I accept, in fairness to the Tánaiste, that the establishment of Irish Water was a Fine Gael policy, with its origins in the NewERA document. However, that does not explain everything. I ask the Tánaiste to explain to me why the Government agreed to pay bonuses to the staff of Irish Water, and agreed this would be part of the regime in Irish Water, despite everything we have heard from Ministers.