The scale of protest against the water charges has been a "wake up call" for government, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said today.
The government is putting together a package that will address public concerns about affordability, privacy and water quality, he said.
“I think the level of opposition and the scale of the protests has been a wake-up call for all of us in government. We are listening to what people are saying. That doesn’t mean water charges are going to be abolished. I think deep down most of us know that’s the right thing to do.
“But we are going to put together a package of measures that address people’s concerns about affordability, about privacy and about the quality of water that people receive. That package actually isn’t finalised yet so I really don’t want to get into the particular figures yet,” he said.
Asked if the Tanaiste had jumped the gun by saying the cost would be around €200 for a family of four, Mr Varadkar said the package hadn’t been finalised yet and it was better not to talk about figures until they knew what they were.
Asked if Irish Water was a masterclass in how not to set up a public utility, Mr Varadkar said that the setting up of the ESB and building of the Ardnacrusha power plant in the 1920s had also provoked huge opposition and controversy at the time but nobody would argue now it shouldn't have been done.
A FINE Gael councillor who suggested anti-water charge campaigners could collect rainwater to drink has been the victim of vicious social media abuse, including suggestions that she be drowned or burned.
Sir, The latest opinion poll shows how out of touch the government is with the people. Sinn Fein are now the most preferred party, even if they are only now fully catching up with the people on the water issue Fine Gael have dropped further and Labour are now in former Green Party and Progressive Democrat Party figures. Remember those parties Tanaiste! I am sure the latter two parties thought that the voting public would ease back on their anger in a general election. Did Fianna Fail ever think they would only win 19 seats? Voters have only one real power and they will use it.