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Irish Government has flexibility on water charges-Brian Stanley TD

4 February, 2015 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Deputy Brian Stanley has participated in a Brussels-based delegation on the Citizen’s Initiative on the Right2water.

Deputy Stanley was part of a group of Irish-based Right2Water representatives invited to the European Parliament by Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan.

Deputy Stanley said:

"I welcome the opportunity to meet with European stakeholders and water representatives to discuss the future of water services. We discussed what systems have worked and what haven’t. In particular we focused on European cities such as Paris and Berlin and various other regions, where privatisation didn't work and services had to be re- municipalised.

I also took the opportunity to question EU Commission representative Mr Jorge Rodriguez Romero from the water status unit on the Irish derogation on domestic water charges regarding the clause in the EU water framework directive.

The Irish government had a derogation and now claim that has lapsed as it was included in last river basin management plan. It is clear however from our conversation today that the South can continue to have a derogation and have it included it on the next river management plan. Furthermore Conor Murphy MP and former Minister for Regional Development confirmed that the North continues to operate within EU law without having to have a separate domestic water charge.

This Fine Gael/Labour government is not being upfront and honest with people on this matter and I call on the Minister to stop using the European Commission as an excuse for charging people twice for water.”

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