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Water protests have been a 'wake-up call' for government - Leo Varadkar

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Health Minister Leo Varadkar

Health Minister Leo Varadkar

Health Minister Leo Varadkar

Health Minister Leo Varadkar

Leo Varadkar TD  and Fine Gael deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor

Leo Varadkar TD and Fine Gael deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor

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Health Minister Leo Varadkar

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.

Online Editors


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