EU rules did not compel Ireland to bring in water charges - our politicians chose to do it
At the weekend, it was claimed future governments would be unable to scrap water charges without breaching an EU water directive - but this is more spin designed to force people to cough up.
In 2000, after 10 years of negotiations, the Water Framework Directive was finally agreed by EU member states. It was reported at the time that: "A compromise package on the legislation was agreed giving Ireland a derogation from a requirement to meter water. The directive allows member states to opt out of this obligation if it conflicts with national practice."
The European Commission wasn't happy about it, but the derogation was included in the text of the Directive as Article 9(4). Despite this, we are now being told the derogation is worthless and the previous government effectively rendered it null and void.