Wednesday 26 October 2016

Taoiseach is 'delusional' on water - TD

AAA-PBP TD Paul Murphy
AAA-PBP TD Paul Murphy

Anti-Water charges TD Paul Murphy has said the Taoiseach is "utterly delusional" if he thinks people will pay water bills.

The Dublin South-West deputy was responding to remarks made by Mr Kenny at the weekend when he warned homeowners: "You are going to have to pay."

Mr Kenny's comments came after indications from the European Commission last week that water charges can't be abolished once they are in place.

"I think he's utterly delusional if he thinks that people are going to pay for water charges," AAA-PBP TD Mr Murphy told the Herald.

He also poured scorn on Mr Kenny's suggestion of reducing the point at which unpaid charges can be deducted from wages, which is €500.

"You can't change the legislation without a Dail majority," Mr Murphy said. "He doesn't have a Dail majority for it. It's not part of the agreement with Fianna Fail. I mean´, if ­Fianna Fail were to go along with something like that it would be very severely punished. They'll be under pressure not to. So I think it's not real."

Mr Murphy said that the European Commission's position on water charges wasn't clear, and said it would have to take a case to the European Court of Justice if it were to fine Ireland for not complying with EU laws.


He said that the Government could "put up a serious fight" in arguing that charging for water here isn't "established practice".

Water charges are to be suspended under Fine Gael's deal with Fianna Fail, with an expert commission to be ­established to determine their future before its recommendations are put to a Dail vote.

"Water charges only come back if Fianna Fail vote for them," Mr Murphy said.

He argued that "it's very difficult to see this Government being able to impose them".

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