FF calls for no water charges until network up to standard

FF calls for no water charges until network up to standard
Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath has said there should be no water charge until the Government brings the network up to standard.

Deputy McGrath says now is the time to invest in the country's network and issues such as waste water need to be dealt with before the public is asked to pay for it.

The Economic Management Council meets today to discuss the Government's revised water package, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny having said that the full details will be published next week.

Deputy McGrath said there should be no charge next year and the introduction of any bills should be delayed until the water network is improved:

"There should be certainly no charge next year because water supply in this country is not at an adequate standard," he said.

"Similarly in relation to wastewater, we need to get those issues right.

"As a country we have never had more access to cheap money - now is the time to invest in the network (and) bring it up to standard," he added.

"And in time, when there is a decent quality of supply, I believe a lot of people would not mind making a reasonable contribution to the cost of water.

"But it's too early to say what that is."

Meanwhile a Labour junior minister says he supports the "logic" of Tánaiste Joan Burton's statement that water charges for a family of four adults would be less than €200.

Minister Burton made the statement when answering a question in the Dáil yesterday.

Last night, a spokesman said Joan Burton was expressing her opinion and that nothing has been agreed by the Government.

Labour Junior Minister Gerald Nash says he agrees with his party leader's view.

"I agree with her logic," he said.

"What she is saying, essentially, is that the position that families with adult children would have assumed they were in, before we reviewed this situation, was excessive.

"I think its unconscionable to be charging families several hundred euros for water.

"So it's about trying to get this fair, affordable and modest charge that we've been talking about."

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