Sunday 19 November 2017

Shane Ross says householders should get water charges refunded

Shane Ross
Shane Ross
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

INDEPENDENT Alliance minister Shane Ross has said householders that paid their water charges should get refunds.

He said it's "obvious" the pursuit of people that didn't pay won't continue.

His remarks come as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil remain at loggerheads over water and whether or not some form of charging remains for excessive or wasteful use.

Minister Simon Coveney has warned that unless the polluter pays principle remains, Ireland will be in breach of EU laws.

Fianna Fáil rejects this view. It says that the 2007 Water Services Act already caters for such wastage and want charges scrapped outright.

Mr Ross was asked his view on water charges and replied: "Those who paid them should get their money back because it’s obvious that the pursuit of those that didn’t pay them is not going to continue. So that’s my position on it."

He was also asked if he thinks it's right that the government would refuse to abolish water charges if that's the recommendation of an Oireachtas Committee

"I just going to wait and see what the will of the committee is," Mr Ross said.

He added: "We’ve made it absolutely clear what my position is on water charges before the Programme for Government and it remains the same.

"But I think what the government is doing is sensible in the circumstances and I don’t expect there to be a major crisis about it," he said.

He also conceded that members of the Independent Alliance hold different views on the issue of water charges.

"Different people have different views in the Independent  Alliance. We’ve never made any bones about that whatsoever," he said.

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