19 April 2016
By Elaine Murphy
Anti Austerity Alliance TD Mick Barry this morning said that Fianna Fail will pay a heavy price with the electorate if there is any backtracking on their General Election promises to abolish Irish Water and to suspend water charges for five years.
His comments came as talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail on the formation of a minority government step up a gear and the issue of Government policy including a policy on water charges come on to the agenda.
Deputy Barry said: “Eight weeks ago Fianna Fail were on the doorsteps asking for votes to abolish Irish Water and to suspend water charges for five years. Any backtracking on those promises in order to cut a deal and Fianna Fail will pay a heavy price with the electorate.”
With news of Irish Water payment/non-payment levels on the last tranche of bills due soon, Deputy Barry also renewed his call on people to step up the boycott to increase the pressure on the establishment parties.
Fine Gael re-affirmed their support for a national water utility and for a charge for water before entering the minority government talks.
Several formulae for a Fine Gael-Fianna Fail “compromise” on water charges have been mooted in the media including keeping the charge but introducing waivers; keeping the charge but increasing household allowances; and merging the charge with the property tax and putting Revenue in charge of collection.