Time for a decision on water charges

JUST like the drunk no-one wants to drive home from the party, water charges long ago joined abortion as a subject no political party wants to be cornered on.

Not even the questionable power offered by being in Government in an administration as rickety as ours has emboldened anyone to take a principled, look-to-the-future position on the issue.

That too-hot-to-handle evasion was facilitated again by a Dáil vote to allow a special Oireachtas committee dealing with the matter a further four weeks to try to come to an agreed position. You’d never know, Kim Jong-un might, in the interim, invade the Aran Islands and offer another helpful distraction.

One thing, however, is certain. If that committee recommends a referendum that might copper- fasten Irish Water in public ownership, it will underline the unwise decision by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to rule out such a safeguard, one that would have gone a long, long way towards ending the ongoing farce around water charges.

It may also cause Mr Kenny to regret subcontracting what is essentially the Dáil’s work to committee, no matter how representative.

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