Sunday 8 December 2019

Water charges should be forgotten during next government's lifetime - Michéal Martin

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin TD. Photo: Collins
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin TD. Photo: Collins

Niall O’Connor Political Correspondent

Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin has reiterated its pledge to scrap water charges for at least the next five years, accusing the Government of presiding over a “debacle”.

Speaking on RTÉ radio this morning, Mr Martin said the next Government must go back to the “drawing board” and abolish charges until the water system is fixed.

The Cork South Central TD said the current coalition made “13 u-turns” since setting up Irish Water.

Broadcaster Séan O’Rourke challenged Mr Martin over the fact that the previous Cabinet, of which he was a member, was considering introducing charges of up to €500.

Asked whether water charges should be forgotten, Mr Martin replied:

 “During the lifetime of the next government yes.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the first decision of a Sinn Féin-led government will be the abolition of water charges.

“Sinn Féin has a plan for a fair recovery that will ease the burden on the average family: our first priority in government will be to legislate for the abolition of water charges.  The legislation has already been published and is ready to go,” she said.

“We have been to the fore in the campaign against water charges across this island on a local, national and European level since 2003. In Government in the north, we abolished Water Charges and in Government in the south, we will do the same,” she added.

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