Commenting on developments at the Oireachtas Water Committee, Workers’ Party Cork City Councillor Ted Tynan said:
‘The last minute deal by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to amend the recommendations of the Water Committee report is quite clearly an attempt to leave the door open for the reintroduction of charges in the future. The will of the people on the issue of water charges has been demonstrated time and time again and it’s clear that they want complete abolition. This shoddy last minute deal shows yet again that Fianna Fáil should never be trusted by working class people.’
Councillor Tynan described the changes to the Water Committee report as an attempt to leave the door open for water charges in future:
‘Any plans to meter new houses or introduce a charge for ‘excess use’ are clearly a means to revisit the issue in future and must be opposed vigorously by the anti-water charges movement. Any limits for ‘excess use’ could potentially be changed overnight and used to bring to more people into the net for water charges. Metering new builds is simply a massive waste of money which could be spent on more important water infrastructure.’
Commenting on the legal advice produced to the Water Committee recommending these changes to the report, Councillor Tynan said:
‘The production of legal advice at the last minute calling for metering and excess use charges is farcical. It’s clear that Fine Gael are simply using the Water Framework Directive as a cover for this deeply unpopular measure. Fine Gael’s willingness to be directed by the possibility of European Union fines on this issue is at odds with their attitude to so many other European rulings. That they are more than happy to ignore European rulings on abortion and Apple’s tax liability when it suits their agenda shows their hypocrisy.’
Cllr. Tynan continued: “This proposal leaves Irish Water in place, it leaves water metering in place and it leaves the billing system infrastructure in place. This leaves the door open for any future government to revert to a full water charges regime at a whim. There is also a big danger that water service provision can be privatised by the back door. As the Workers’ Party feared from the start this committee has proved to be a complete whitewash. It will not fool the massive numbers of people around the country who have stood firm in opposition to water charges over the last number of years. The fight goes on”.