Saturday 25 May 2019

'You're going to have to pay water charges'

Kenny says bills solution must comply with EU law

Enda Kenny. Picture: Arthur Carron
Enda Kenny. Picture: Arthur Carron

Fionnán Sheahan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has adopted a surprisingly hard line on water charges, insisting homeowners will have to pay to abide by EU law.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Kenny has reopened the water charges debate saying: "You are going to have to pay."

Mr Kenny also suggests reducing the point at which water bills can be deducted from non-paying homeowners' wages from the current €500 limit.

The Taoiseach was speaking after a European Commission clarification this week that water charges can't be abolished once they are in place.

The Oireachtas is setting up a committee to recommend the future of water charges - and the bills have been parked pending its outcome.

Mr Kenny says: "There is the issue that the Oireachtas Committee and the Dáil is not going to vote for something that it knows is illegal," he said.

The Taoiseach also said he has a "very clear process" planned to hand over to his successor as Fine Gael leader. He intends to stay in office for the full term of this Government, yet not lead the party into a general election.

"I have a very clear understanding of what it is that I am going to do and I will set that out in due course," he said.

Irish Independent

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