Government should also commit to date for water ownership referendum

The Government must advance a referendum to ensure water infrastructure remains in public ownership, according to Labour spokesperson on Water Jan O’Sullivan.

Deputy O’Sullivan said that a key recommendation of the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Water was that a referendum would be held to ensure our water infrastructure remains in public ownership.

"It is bizarre that while considering the possible dates for holding votes on future constitutional amendments that no consideration was given to holding a referendum on water infrastructure.

"There is cross party consensus on this issue, and a draft wording has also been discussed at the committee.

"It was reported just a week ago that the Attorney General’s office was examining this issu e. The Water Services Bill has been published but we have yet to hear when the Government plans to hold this vote.

Deputy O’Sullivan said her colleague Willie Penrose published a Bill in July that would ensure that the electricity, gas and water networks continued to remain in public ownership.

“It is vital that citizens around the country have absolute confidence that the water infrastructure will remain in public ownership.

"The Labour Party will now move to reintroduce our Bill."

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