Thursday 24 October 2019

Labour sources: Noonan 'overruled' Kelly's previous efforts to link water grant to payment

Alan Kelly TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
Alan Kelly TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government

Niall O’Connor

A COALITON row has erupted over the prospect of linking the €100 Water Conservation Grant to the payment of bills.

Fine Gael TDs are piling the pressure on ministers to introduce the change after coming under fire from voters in their constituencies.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan

At present, the €100 grant is due to be paid to all householders who register with Irish Water – regardless of whether they have paid.

But a looming revolt from Fine Gael backbenchers has prompted proposals to end such a process, which  has been dubbed “deeply unfair” by TDs.

Read more: Another Irish Water U-turn? TDs demand rethink of €100 for water bill rebels

Independent.ie can reveal that the Labour Party was caught off guard by the developments last night, even though the grant is administered by Joan Burton’s department.

Labour sources have this morning claimed that Finance Minister Michael Noonan “overruled” Environment Minister Alan Kelly in his previous efforts to link the grant to payment.

The same sources said Fine Gael TDs should be asking questions of Mr Noonan instead of demanding that the changes be introduced.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe today said no changes will be made to the current system in the short term.

Read more: Stupidity on tap when it comes to water

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