Monday 24 October 2016

Martin under fire over U-turn on water

Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin Picture: Fergal Phillips
Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin Picture: Fergal Phillips

Fianna Fail is preparing to oppose this week's motion on water charges with backbenchers blaming leader Micheal Martin for the party's U-turn on the issue.

The motion, being tabled by Sinn Fein, calls for the abolition of charges.

While Fianna Fail has now adopted this position, the party will argue that it cannot support the motion until the new Independent Commission finalises its work.

But for the first time in months, Mr Martin is coming under fire from within the party over its new-found position on water charges.

infrastructure The party previously stated that water charges should be abolished until the infrastructure was brought to scratch.

But the party's submission to the commission, which is due to begin its work in November, states that the principle of charging for usage should be abolished for good.

Several senior TDs have voiced deep concern over the position.

They believe Mr Martin went "too far" and should not have committed to abolition until after the commission.

A senior source said rural backbenchers were particularly concerned about the renewed hype over charges.

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