Tuesday 12 November 2019

Fresh water row erupts as Fine Gael refuses to resume talks today

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Niall O'Connor

A fresh row has erupted over water charges after Fine Gael objected to a series of recommendations in the final report in relation to the funding of Irish Water.

In a move that has taken other parties by surprise, the Fine Gael members of the committee forced a series of votes this afternoon before refusing to resume negotiations.

It was initially expected that the final report would be agreed after all parties made substantial progress on the report in recent days.

But there was a significant mood change today with members engaging in sniping over the final wording of different sections of the report.

At several points, the meeting was adjourned to allow for Fine Gael’s six members to deliberate. Members of the group also phoned Housing Minister Simon Coveney for guidance.

Fine Gael objected to a series of points in relation to funding, including the provision for Irish Water to be funded through general taxation.

“We have grave concerns about the impact such a provision would have on the taxpayer,” a Fine Gael source told Independent.ie.

Fine Gael later declined a request to resume negotiations in the afternoon. The meeting has been adjourned until tomorrow.

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