Solidarity Cork TD Mick Barry says EU would have to take Ireland “to court” to impose water charges

27 March 2017
By Elaine Murphy

Mick Barry TD

Solidarity TD Mick Barry – Cork North Central – this morning said that the latest intervention by the European Commission in the water charges debate underlined the danger of water charges “by the back door” in Fine Gael’s call for an “excessive use” charge.

EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella says that a system of fines for wasting water would not establish a reliable source of revenue to cover the cost of water services and that Ireland cannot revert to paying for water through general taxation.

Mick Barry TD said this morning: “I have argued all along that [Minister] Simon Coveney’s proposed charge for so-called excessive water use is a ploy to keep the back door open for water charges. Mr Vella’s letter to Mr Coveney’s party colleague only serves to back up my argument.”

Deputy Barry said that the Irish State cannot be fined in Europe for abolishing water charges without a court case. He said that such a case would take years to be heard and that the State would have a strong chance of winning it.

He called for public support for the Right2Water national demonstration on April 8 to help get complete abolition of water charges over the line.

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