No time for consultation but millions for consultants
The Government says that
it wants to allow local people to make the decisions over water charges
and the future of the Water Service. Yet it has been pushing its
water reform agenda without the slightest regard to local opinion.
It was found to have acted unlawfully in cutting short the so-called consultation
process over the water charges legislation. In that case an official
from the DRD claimed that it had no obligation to consult on legislation.
A suggestion form the General Consumer Council that the Assembly take the
decisions on water charges and the Water Service was dismissed by Peter
Hain’s chief political advisor as “ridiculous”. This contrasts with
millions being spent on consultants. Companies including UBS Investment
Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Halcrow and Deloitte, all of who have
a vested interest in privatisation, were paid £18m to confirm what
the Government had already decided. The whole process is corrupt.