Wednesday 21 February 2018

Backlash at Kenny sell-out on water bills

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Niall O'Connor, Kevin Doyle and John Downing

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny is under attack from all sides after his own TDs were left fuming by his offer to temporarily suspend water charges - and Fianna Fáil rejected the proposal.

The country has edged closer to a second election as talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over water charges ended acrimoniously.

During "frank exchanges", Fianna Fáil rejected the idea of stopping charges for six to nine months while an independent commission decides on the best way to re-introduce them. Micheál Martin's party continues to insist that charges must be suspended for three-five years.

However, senior Fine Gael sources told the Irish Independent last night they have done "all the moving" and an election is looming unless Fianna Fáil begins to compromise.

As relations between the parties reached a new low, Fianna Fáil claimed Mr Kenny has effectively lost the support of his negotiating team. Fianna Fáil figures suggested Mr Kenny was willing to offer a long suspension - but that his team of negotiators differed strongly.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael backbenchers are also furious with Mr Kenny for offering any suspension of charges.

Irish Independent

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