The Fine Gael party today supported the final report following four months of work by the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services.
The four key Fine Gael principles in relation to the future funding of domestic water have been achieved. They are:
- Meters will go into all new builds and apartments will be bulk metered
- People who excessively use water will have to pay for that excess usage
- The secured future of Irish Water as a single utility
- Certainty of funding for our water services
Ensuring that these aspects are in the report will prove to be of great benefit to Ireland – both economically and environmentally.
Fine Gael has made it clear that the amendments proposed last week undermined the credibility of the report. The legal advice to the committee today has confirmed that. On this basis, we made the necessary changes to strengthen the report in a way that has allowed Fine Gael to support it as the basis for future legislation.
This concluded report is true to the core recommendations of the expert commission. Fine Gael has also ensured that if people excessively use water, they will pay for that excess use.
Concerns raised by European Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, earlier this year that our water policy must comply with the principles of ‘cost recovery’ and ‘polluter pays’ are reflected in the report.
Fine Gael is working towards achieving an outcome that is honest and fair to the taxpayer and is within the water framework directive commitments.
The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney working with the Attorney General’s office will put together legislation, consistent with the report recommendations, that is legally sound and bring it to the Oireachtas in the coming weeks.