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One million will register for charges by Christmas

People have not been fooled by the new package of water charges, Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy has claimed. He said people will be demonstrating their anger at the Government, but today's event would be a peaceful, family-friendly event.

"Water charges must be defeated," he said.

Mr Murphy claimed that charges will only go in one direction, which is up.

He said people will come out in big numbers because they have not been satisfied by the new package on water charges announced last month by Environment Minister Alan Kelly and have not been fooled by it.

However, Paudie Coffey, the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, said there will be no change in the Government's policy despite the mass protest.

Acted

He said the Government had listened and acted and revised the water charging system, and had moved as far as it can, adding that alternatives proposed by opponents such as Mr Murphy are not sustainable.

"If we look closely at what that economic argument is, it's to raise further taxes on working people to pay for this water," said Mr Coffey.

He said on RTE's Morning Ireland the Government expects that one million people will have registered with Irish Water by Christmas.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the number of protests resulting in violence, disruption or complaints of inappropriate behaviour has fallen since the Government announced its row-back on water charges.

But the number of protests against water meter installation and the charges in general appears to have increased.

The Herald has monitored social media websites used by protesters over the past month to gauge the number of protests that have been staged.

fdillon@herald.ie


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