Sensible approach to water charges needed
It seems that Fine Gael is willing to break its election promise not to introduce water charges before meters are fitted, and that Labour is willing to renege on its commitment that there wouldn't be water charges at all.
Some estimates suggest that it could take four years to fit meters to Ireland's 1.4 million households at a cost of €500m. We need to ensure that starting with a flat-rate system doesn't deflect attention or willingness from installing water meters as quickly as possible.
The Coalition could redeem itself slightly if it at least introduced water charges in a sensible way that rewards good behaviour. We don't often focus on motivating improved behaviour in Ireland -- the plastic bag levy was a rare example.