Public 'confused' by separate motions on water charges

Public 'confused' by separate motions on water charges

The Dáil is to discuss water charges today amid two conflicting motions on the issue.

Sinn Féin has the backing of 39 TDs in their bid to scrap bills immediately.

However, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael want to only suspend water charges temporarily, to allow a review of the system.

It is understood that Independent TD and junior minister John Halligan has agreed to support the Government counter-motion after earlier indicating that he may support the Sinn Féin motion.

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid West, Eoin O'Broin, said that people are confused by the two separate motions.

"The Commission that is being proposed by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is a commission to look at water charges and Irish Water," he said.

"We have very strong fears that that's going to lead to the maintenance of Irish Water in some shape or form as it currently is, and some kind of water charge into the future.

"Sinn Fein's proposal in our election manifesto is to was very different.

"We said - scrap the charge, scrap Irish Water, and have a Commission to look at the best way to deliver water and sanitation services into the future."

Today's Dáil motion from Sinn Féin motion states: ““That Dáil Éireann notes that a majority of Deputies elected to the 32nd Dáil made clear pre-election pledges to end water charges; and calls on the Government to:

— immediately abolish domestic water charges;

— establish a public water and sanitation board to deliver water on the basis of need; and

— set a date for a referendum to enshrine the public ownership of water services in the Constitution of Ireland.

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