Hogan seeks savings of €500k from portfolio to fund elderly alarm scheme
on 12/01/2013 00:00:00
The funding for the scheme was cut from €2.2m to €1.1m this year.
But sources said if the minister wants to reverse the cut, he will have to find the savings in his own department instead of asking Brendan Howlin, the public expenditure minister, for extra funding.
Mr Hogan has meanwhile moved to introduce water charges from Jan 2014, with the publication yesterday of the Water Services Bill.
The company responsible for installing waters meters will be a subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann, called Uisce Éireann or Irish Water.
It will have the power to install meters in all domestic properties, without the need for planning permission.
Homeowners who refuse to allow officials onto their land for this purpose can be hit with fines of up to €5,000.
Sinn Féin has promised to do "all in its powers to resist" the introduction of water charges. It said the bill will pave the way for the "full privatisation of our water service" because Irish Water will be a subsidiary of An Bord Gáis Eireann "a company which this Government said they intend to sell off".
Brian Stanley, Sinn Féin's environment spokesperson, said that the legislation will breach civil liberties because "it allows Irish Water to access information on householders from sources including the Revenue Commissioners, Department of Social Protection, local authorities, and the Private Residential Tenancies Board".
Fianna Fáil's environment spokesperson, Barry Cowen, said the party is not opposed to the introduction of water charges per se, but has concerns about how they will be applied.