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Minister in last ditch attempt to influence water committee report – Ó Broin

7 April, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Water Eoin Ó Broin has criticised Minister Simon Coveney’s last ditch attempt to influence the water committee. The Dublin Mid-West TD said that Minister Coveney’s letter “effectively threatening a general election if he doesn't get his way was both wholly inappropriate and unacceptable”.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Minster Coveney and Fine Gael has finally realised that domestic water charge issue is lost. Having lost the argument over an excess charge and the continued roll-out of domestic metering, Minister Coveney is now resorting to threats; the sub-text of this letter being that if he doesn't get his way, he will force a general election. 

“The letter is another attempt by Minister Coveney to interfere with the work of the Committee, similar to the attempted interventions by EU Commissioner Vella. He is once again undermining his own process and the Committee he established in an attempt to put off taking the right decision on the domestic water charges issue. He is, quite frankly, treating the Committee and its members with contempt.

“Fine Gael democratically lost key votes on the report. Instead of accepting this, Minister Coveney is now hiding under an interpretation of the Water Framework Directive. The Water Committee has three separate Senior Council legal opinions, all of which indicate that our proposals are legally sound. 

“We did not need to postpone the Committee vote on this report until next week, just as we did not need the Committee extension. Fine Gael must accept that the matter has been decided and bring forward the necessary legislation to get rid of domestic water charges once and for all.

“Fianna Fáil must not conduct and back room deals with Fine Gael on this matter over the weekend, that could see water charges returned through the back door. Fianna Fáil is now on the right side of this issue and should stay there. Failure to do so will come at a real electoral cost.” 

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