Water charges

Government ministers have yet to begin any substantial talks on how the State will be able to afford at least €160m in water charge refunds which have not been budgeted for this year.

Latest: Joan Burton denies laughter in car reflected 'relaxed' atmosphere

Update 6.47pm: Former Tánaiste Joan Burton has denied that she was “relaxed” in the car in which she was allegedly falsely imprisoned during a water charges protest.

Water protestors’ case will likely have far-reaching consequences

Solidarity has succeeded in flavouring politics, and influencing major change, writes Gerard Howlin

‘No grant gain for those who didn’t pay water charges’

People who claimed the conservation grant but did not pay water charges will not “gain financially” over households that paid, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has said.

Giddy Dáil delighted to wade past water charges

“Sit down Deputy Doherty, sit down.”

Water funding to be reviewed as charges scrapped

After three years of protests, debates during elections and claims of a “failed” charging regime, TDs have voted in the Dail to abolish the current system and scrap water charges.

Paschal Donohoe: Do not dig up water meters

The public expenditure minister has warned home owners not to dig up or remove their water meters, saying they will be used again under a new charging regime, having been provided through taxpayers’ monies.

Paschal Donohoe fires shot across bow of unions ahead of pay talks

As the old song goes, there may be trouble ahead, writes Daniel McConnell

Finally the debate on water charges is over — for now

Fresh legislation to apply changes and more will come before the Dáil by the summer, writes Juno McEnroe

Dáil votes 96 to 48 to abolish water charges, except for 'excessive use'

Water charges have effectively been abolished this afternoon.

Axing of water charges leaves €250m black hole

Department of Finance confirms figure will have to be taken out of next year’s spending proposals

Water deal fiasco sells our children’s environmental future down river

92% of Irish people will not pay anything for the water they use and nobody will get a bill, writes Victoria White


It all boils down to taxpayer losing out

Any future decision on water will be a political one and nothing to do with good sound public policy, writes Political Editor Daniel McConnell

Latest: Taoiseach claims will of majority has won out on water charges

Latest: The Taoiseach has claimed the will of the majority has won out on water charges.

Water charges dispute off the boil as parties finally sign off on a deal

Two weeks of squabbling, a bitter war of words between TDs and a lot of time and resources expended which could have been dedicated to more worthy issues, such as the housing or health crises.

Fianna Fáil U-turn on water sees party back Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil TDs have said they received a “backlash” over their initial position on water charges as the party yesterday did another U-turn and backed government plans to levy homes and continue metering.

Get rid of your water meter, says TD

Water charges are going to be reintroduced by the “back door” along with mandatory metering, according to Right2Water TDs who oppose recommendations on the future funding of services.

Water charges: What has been agreed

These are the points agreed in principle by majority of water committee on the future of services.

Makings of a deal on water legislation there but diplomacy by megaphone must stop

At the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting in Leinster House last Wednesday, TDs and senators were told a deal had been done on water, writes Juno McEnroe

Simon Coveney stands firm on water charges

Housing Minister Simon Coveney says he will not change his position on water charges despite a fresh threat by Fianna Fáil to withhold support for a new Taoiseach, a move which would collapse the Government.

Water charges row comes to boiling point;FF threaten to block election of new FG Taoiseach

Latest: The row between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over water charges is escalating, with Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen threatening NOT to facilitate the election of a new Fine Gael Taoiseach.

Campaigners to hold protest, urging 'petulant' TDs to scrap water charges

Anti-water charge campaigners will hold a protest in Dublin city centre this afternoon urging politicians to implement an Oireachtas committee report which recommends scrapping water charges.

Fine Gael wants graded fines for water wasting and leaks

Households leaking or wasting more water than others will face higher penalties under proposals by Fine Gael, which the party insists are needed to comply with EU laws.

High tide reached in water charges fiasco as TDs drown in war of words

The water charges issue has, since it emerged on the political agenda in earnest in late 2013 and early 2014, wreaked havoc on all who have sought to grapple with it, writes Daniel McConnell

Latest: Fine Gael call for legal advice on water charge report

Latest: Fine Gael is asking the Oireachtas committee on water to get legal advice on three concerns over its final report.

Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris were scathing about Fianna Fáil's water charge stance.

Leo Varadkar backs Simon Coveney's water stance

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has backed Housing Minister Simon Coveney in refusing to consider illegal legislation in relation to water charges.

Fine Gael to seek legal advice over water charges

Fine Gael is to attempt to use fresh legal advice to object to a committee’s recommendations to fully scrap water charges and abandon the metering of homes.

Water charges report - We will pay up one way or another

AS Sir Humphrey Appleby understood, every political crisis, every scandal, no matter how noxious, offers opportunity if appreciated in the correct perspective. 

Water committee's report 'a victory for anti water charge movement': Murphy

Latest: AAA TD for Dublin South West Paul Murphy has said the recommendations made by the water committee are a victory for the anti water charges movement.

Support pact at risk as Fine Gael accused of abandoning water deal

Fianna Fáil has accused Fine Gael of reneging on an agreement on water charges and “abandoning” a deal, leaving the government support pact at risk.

Simon Coveney to defy advice on water charges

Simon Coveney is set to defy the water committee’s recommendations to scrap charges and instead attempt to railroad through his own legislation, which he claims will comply with EU laws.

Paul Murphy: Campaigners claiming victory on water charges, but Govt may try again

Anti-water charge campaigners are claiming victory in the final report of the water committee to be voted on tomorrow.

Latest: Water charges issue 'a complete and utter farce' says former Minister

Update 11.53am: Former Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly today described the water charges issue as a “complete and utter farce”.

Fine Gael threaten to demand water use penalties

Fine Gael is threatening to oppose recommendations on water charges unless a report specifically provides for an “excessive usage” charge and penalises households for wasting water.

Latest: Fine Gael thinks Ireland will be in breach of EU law after latest water charge vote

The party was defeated 14-6 in a vote to have the water system funded through general taxation.

Doubts over waste water fine proposal

The European Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella has exhibited doubts that a proposal for waste water fines will comply with EU law.

Latest: Fianna Fáil make water charges submission that may end stand-off with Fine Gael

Update - 2.15pm: A deal could be agreed between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to end the stand-off over water charges which this week threatened to topple the minority government.

Latest:Taoiseach insists Government will not support any water charge system that breaks EU laws

LATEST: Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that his Government will not implement legislation on water charges which is illegal, writes Daniel McConnell.

Latest: Oireachtas committee fails to reach agreement on water charges

Update 4.45pm: A meeting of the Oireachtas committee on water charges has failed to reach agreement about the possibility of scrapping charges entirely.

Right2Water campaign accused of major u-turn

The Right2Water campaign have been accused of doing a major u-turn after it said that those who abuse or waste water should face charges.

Commission for Energy Regulation says water-metering works should be parked

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has said the water-metering programme should be parked, but not abandoned.

Minister proposes free daily water allowance of 123 litres

Adults should be allowed to use 123 litres of water per day free of charge before excess costs apply under a new system, Housing Minister Simon Coveney says.

Water charges issue will not bring down Government, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that water charges will not be the issue to bring down the Government.

What future for water charges? Key committee starts work today

A group of TDs and Senators will today start the process of deciding the future of water charges.

Poll reveals most voters in favour of refunds for those who paid water charges

Nearly three quarters of voters say people who paid water charges should get a refund.

Fianna Fáil indicates support for charge on excessive use of water

Fianna Fáil has indicated that those who use excessive amounts of water should have to pay for it.

Minister wants fairness for those who 'respected the law of the land' and paid water bills

Those who paid their water bills cannot be treated unfairly, a senior Cabinet member has said today.

Decision on water-charge refunds 'within three months'

The Government says a decision on whether to reimburse people who paid their water charges will have to be made by the Special Oireachtas Committee within three months

Leo Varadkar doesn't think those who paid their water charges should be refunded

A Fine Gael minister says he believes there should not be refunds for those who paid water charges.

Taoiseach: 'I don't want to commit' to refunding water charges

Taosieach Enda Kenny has said he "does not want to commit" to refunding water charges until after a special Oireachtas Committee looks into the issue, writes Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner Political Reporter in Palo Alto.

Minister: People who paid their water charges are not looking for their money back

The Minister with responsibility for water charges is sticking by his calls for water bills not to be refunded.

Minister Noonan raises possibility of refunding water charges

The Minister for Finance has tonight raised the possibility that water bills could be refunded for those who have already paid.

Paschal Donohoe: We need to retain charges to be fair to those who paid

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has said we need to keep some form of water charges to be fair to those who paid their bills.

Report recommends people should pay for 'excessive or wasteful use' of water only

A new report by the expert commission looking at the future funding of water has recommended that the vast majority of people will not pay for water, write Daniel McConnell and Juno McEnroe for the Irish Examiner.

Anti Austerity Alliance calls for water protesters to 'polish their boots', saying massive protests loom

The Anti Austerity Alliance has called for water charges to be abolished - completely.