Friday 9 December 2016

Political reality is water charges are dead, now for a decent burial

Fianna Fail will vote to finally end water charges, which could lead to a general election next year

Published 27/11/2016 | 02:30

THIS IS NEW POLITICS: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin
THIS IS NEW POLITICS: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin
Leo Varadkar

The expert commission on domestic public water services will report this week. In advance, a head of steam is building, as though the eventual outcome is not pre-ordained. It is pre-ordained, and has been since the General Election. The water charge regime as we know it is over and will not return. All that remains to be decided is who gets the credit, or blame, and what happens next.

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The current brouhaha boils down to one question: what will Fianna Fail do? That is because the make-up of the Dail dictates that the future of water charges will ultimately be decided by Fianna Fail. The answer to the question is that party will vote to end the currently suspended water charge regime. So, the bottom line is that water charges as we know them are dead, for the next 10 to 15 years.

But it is not as simple as that. The question remains: how will we pay to upgrade the water and waste water system? Say hello to property tax, our little friend.

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