Friday 20 October 2017

Fianna Fáil to seek further legal action over water charges

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Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Fianna Fáil is to seek further legal advice in a bid to support its claim that the law in its present form already provides for penalising people who abuse water consumption.

Senior party figures took the decision today after being accused by Fine Gael of showing no regard for the need to address so-called excessive usage.

There were further tense exchanges at the Oireachtas water committee with Fianna Fáil members accusing their counterparts of presenting no proposals aimed at resolving the impasse over the issue of water charges.

The row between the parties centres around how to deal with excessive usage - householders who needlessly waste water.

Fine Gael says a charging system must be introduced, arguing that such a move is in line with the advice laid down by the Attorney General Máire Whelan and the European Commission.

Fianna Fáil rejects this view. It says that the 2007 Water Services Act already caters for such wastage.

Party sources say further legal advice will now be sought with the committee send to adjourn today without a resolution.

The 20 members are due to meet again on Tuesday with the dispute now raising the prospect of a snap general election.

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