Monday 23 October 2017

Water charges: Gilmore rejects Phil Hogan deadline

Major differences between coalition parties

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore

Daniel McConnell, Political Correspondent

MAJOR differences between the Coalition parties over the introduction of water charges resurfaced today as Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore directly disputed claims made yesterday by Environment Minister Phil Hogan over when water charge tariffs will be decided.

Mr Hogan said clearly yesterday that the Government will decide on and agree on the level of reliefs offered to families "within the next ten days."

However, speaking in Dublin today, Mr Gilmore refuted Mr Hogan's statement, saying the Labour Party "wont be bound by any timetable."

He said: "It is important we get it right. We have been very clear there are a number of issues that have to get resolved."

He added: "The first is what do we do about the three out of every four households who wont be metered by the end of next year. Secondly, how do we address the issue of the ability to pay for households on low income, particularly older people, pensioners and people on low incomes and we have to get resolutions to all of these issues."

When pressed, Mr Gilmore said: "I cant say when we will do that but as with every other issue in the lifetime of this Government, we will insist on getting it right. We are not going to be bound by any timetable. I'd like to do that quickly."

"I didn't hear what the Minister for the Environment said yesterday. We are going to get it right," he added. 

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