Noonan defends Irish Water staff numbers

The Minister for Finance has defended the number of staff being taken on by Irish Water.

Michael Noonan has said transferring workers to a single body is the best way to slowly wind down the number of people working in the water service.

His comments come after it was claimed that Irish Water could spend €2bn paying staff that are surplus to requirements.

Minister Noonan said leaving the staff with their local authorities would cost the taxpayer even more.

"As soon as the (installation of) meters job is completed, obviously there are up to 1,000 people who will not be required," he said.

"The point is there are additional start-up costs and that peters down over time. The savings will start coming in strongly in five or six years."


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