A former Environment Minister says it is not possible to scrap water charges.
Alan Kelly's comments come after the European Commission said Ireland must keep the contentious charges which have been suspended pending an investigation.
Fianna Fáil has proposed that the water system be paid for through general taxation and that the principle of charging for usage should be abolished.
But, former Environment Minister and Tipperary TD Alan Kelly says it is not legally possible to row back on the charges.
"The Attorney General has advised the Government, I know because I actually wrote to the Attorney General and asked her to advise the Government and it was the Government after me that would have got that advise.
"So Minister Coveney should give us a flavour of that.
"Legally the commission are being very clear with this Government so Fianna Fáil are engaging in populism as usual and this is a complete hypocracy."