Taoiseach and Ministers to discuss water charges today

Taoiseach and Ministers to discuss water charges today

Senior Ministers will meet again today to discuss the ongoing water charges controversy.

No announcement is expected after the meeting of the Economic Management Council (EMC) however, with Government sources saying they are determined to take time to get any new package of measures right.

The EMC consists of the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Finance and Public Expenditure Ministers.

Also attending today will be Environment Minister Alan Kelly and Communications Minister Alex White who have responsibility for Irish Water and parent company, Ervia.

They will discuss ongoing efforts to better explain to people about water charges and exactly what will have to be paid.

Further demonstrations are taking place this weekend against water charges.

More than 50 protests are planned across the country for Saturday, calling for the abolition of the charges and the dismantling of Irish Water.

People Before Profit Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett says the level of anger against it is unprecedented.

"We have seen an unprecedented mobilisation of people across this country saying they do not want these charges," he said.

"They cannot pay them, and if the Government believes in democracy, they should listen to the voice of people and abolish the water charges, and establish a fair taxation system in this country, where people pay according to their ability instead of the same people being hammered again and again with taxes they simply cannot afford."

A spokesperson said that the Government is aware that people feel strongly and they will have to listen and take things into consideration.

However, the Coalition is said to be standing firm that financial realities remain and that water will have to be paid for.

No decisions are expected to be made at today's EMC meeting and the issue looks set to continue to be discussed for a number of weeks.

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