LATEST: Oireachtas water services committee 'descending into a farce'

LATEST: There is a claim that the Oireachtas committee looking at the future of water services is descending into a farce.

LATEST: Oireachtas water services committee 'descending into a farce'

UPDATE 11.50am: There is a claim that the Oireachtas committee looking at the future of water services is descending into a farce.

It follows reports that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are trying to cut a deal on a charge for excessive usage of water.

It has led to speculation that the committee - which was to report by next Monday - would be given an extension by Minister Simon Coveney.

Sinn Féin's Eoin O'Broin has said this should not happen.

"Our view is, we've heard all the experts, we've had all the debates, we need to make decisions this week and refer the matter to the Oireachtas.

"We'll absolutely be voting against any proposed deferral because it's simply not needed."

Earlier: A fresh effort is getting underway to resolve the impasse over whether to bill Irish consumers for water.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney (pictured) insists EU rules demand some form of charge, but Fianna Fail says it has legal advice that existing Irish laws - the 2007 Water Services Act - would cover that requirement.

20 members of a special Oireachtas committee will meet again today.

Senator Padraig O'Ceidigh will put new suggestions to them to try and move forward.

It is reported he will circulate a compromise document which will propose a scoping enquiry into using the Water Services Act of 2007.

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