Suspending water charges is not illegal, insists Minister

Suspending water charges is not illegal, insists Minister

The Minister responsible for water charges has said he does not believe the Oireachtas is acting unlawfully by suspending the charges for nine months.

Simon Coveney's comments come after Labour said the European Commission's view that Ireland could not revert to not charging meant that legislation currently going through the Dáil was unlawful.

Speaking in Dublin today, Minister Coveney said that he believes the European Commissioner will have no problem with the temporary suspension of charges.

"I'm quite comfortable that what we're doing here is the right thing and that the Commission will understand what we're doing, and hopefully facilitate it, and that'll be the focus of the meeting next week," he said.

"I know that Labour's position has been that this is somehow illegal [and] it's not consistent with the water framework directive.

"I don't agree with that view. We know the Commission's view in terms of not having water charges at all in the future, I think they would have a difficulty with that."

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