Fianna Fáil gives Irish Water highest priority in negotiation document to Independents

Fianna Fáil gives Irish Water highest priority in negotiation document to Independents

By Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner Political Reporter

Fianna Fáil have put Irish Water front and centre in a negotiation document given to Independent TDs today.

This is at odds with Fine Gael, who did see the issue of water charges as a major topic in a 122-page document issued to Independents TDs last night.

Fianna Fáil have provided a shorter document to the 15 Independent TDs still in talks on government formation, however, this is more targeted with specific time-frames for introducing measures.

The first item addressed in the 26-page document is water.

Micheál Martin’s party promise to end charges – saving families €160 per year – within six months.

They would also fully provide for the costs of winding down Irish Water and the abolition of the Water Conservation grant to save the state €110m in the first six months of government.

Within 18 months Fianna Fáil have promised to abolish Irish Water to create a “new slimmed down agency”.

Independent Alliance member Shane Ross said: “Fianna Fáil who we negotiated with yesterday presented a series of much shorter documents in response to specific requirements.

“It was more specific, less general, less of a vision there but we are expecting more documents to come back from Fianna Fáil in the days ahead if Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael met today,” Mr Ross said.

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