Minister firm on water meter vow
ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley again insisted yesterday that water charges won't be brought in until homes are equipped with meters.
Mr Gormley gave a "cast-iron guarantee" householders would only be charged for using more water than a basic free allowance.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen appeared to undermine the Green Party this week by refusing to rule out the introduction of flat-rate water charges as reported in the Irish Independent.
Mr Cowen hinted that the Government may break its promise not to bring in charges until meters are installed in every home.
Fianna Fail and the Green Party's Revised Programme for Government includes a commitment to water charges based on a system where homes are allocated a free basic allowance, with charging only for the amount used above that.
Mr Cowen said the Government hadn't "even begun budget discussions yet". Mr Gormley is due to bring a plan to Cabinet in the coming weeks on the cost of the rollout of water meters.