Saturday 16 December 2017

FF's stance on water is nothing but political opportunism

'So why is Fianna Fáil adopting this stance, particularly as it not only proposed the charge in 2009, but also signed up to the EU/IMF deal which made the introduction a condition of the bailout? It’s mostly opportunistic and an attempt to tap into the public mood' Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
'So why is Fianna Fáil adopting this stance, particularly as it not only proposed the charge in 2009, but also signed up to the EU/IMF deal which made the introduction a condition of the bailout? It’s mostly opportunistic and an attempt to tap into the public mood' Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

It's hard to see what Fianna Fáil hopes to achieve by suspending water charges for the next five years. Scrapping the charge may be politically expedient, but it only serves to kick the problem of fixing the network further down the road. It also gives two fingers to the households who have paid their bills, not to mention those on group water schemes and with private wells who know all about how much clean and safe drinking water costs to produce.

The party is effectively exacerbating the urban/rural divide - it appears to be saying that those in rural Ireland can continue to pay, while their urban cousins can escape bills for the foreseeable future.

It's quite a change from just a few short years ago when the soldiers of destiny were gung-ho about introducing charges.

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