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Kenny says Irish Water (and your PPS number) “will not be sold”

The Taoiseach made the comment during Leaders’ Questions today.

Image: Photocall Ireland

IRISH WATER WILL not be sold, the Taoiseach said today, when asked about the security of people’s PPS numbers.

He made the comment in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions, when questioned by Deputy Catherine Murphy of the Technical Group.

She said that “potentially Irish Water will have a more complete set of data available to them than any Government department”, which she called “crazy”.

Fair charges

“Irish Water is a public entity – it will not be sold,” replied the Taoiseach.

It is prescribed in law that the information in regard to PPS numbers will be used solely and specifically for the purpose intended – to determine accurately the household and allowances in respect to households and where there are children involved.

Murphy countered: “Who is to say into the future that it can’t and won’t be sold? Legislation changes all the time. Don’t think people believe it can’t be sold.”

The Taoiseach said that there is protection of the data in respect of PPS numbers held by Irish Water.

On its website, Irish Water has a data protection notice which says:

Irish Water may keep the customer’s data for a reasonable period after the customer ceases to be supplied with Water Services but will not keep it for any longer than is necessary and/or as required by law.

Murphy also accused the Taoiseach of managing to “pull off another stroke” with the introduction of charges tomorrow.

She said that if the point of water charges was to conserve water, then everyone in the State would have been given a free allowance.

She said that if people don’t supply their PPS numbers, they will essentially be fined.

Murphy said that she has “repeatedly had people say to me they feel like they’re living in a dictatorship”.

The Taoiseach said the Government aims to make water charges as fair as possible.

He was heckled by other members of the Dáil while he spoke, one of whom shouted “that’s rubbish, absolute rubbish” at him.

Read: Irish Water’s spokeswoman was on Prime Time tonight. Here’s what she said:>

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