Wednesday 26 July 2017

Voters won't thank FF if it triggers election over populist water stance

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe (left) and Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Mr Donohoe is a measured politician, so his criticism of FF over its water charges stance is significant. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe (left) and Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Mr Donohoe is a measured politician, so his criticism of FF over its water charges stance is significant. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

The sight of political parties in retreat on an issue is rarely an edifying one - and never less so than with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil's furious back-peddling on water charges.

Having abandoned the (moral) high ground of a charging system (after failing to quell an unanticipated, but hugely successful, uprising against the modest levies), any sense of dignity is quickly being surrendered. The two centre parties are desperately scrambling to draw a line under the hits they've already endured.

To be fair to Fine Gael, its flank has been left completely exposed by Fianna Fáil's complete capitulation, when a bit of backbone from the main Opposition party would have ensured a decent compromise could have been agreed.

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