Statement from Fine Gael members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water

-   Fine Gael Press Office

Fine Gael wants to agree a report that resolves the problem of how we fund domestic water services in Ireland and is honest with the Irish people.

We want a report that is a true reflection of the progress that was made by the committee last week.

The language of the report must be honest and reflect the truth of the progress that was made last week by committee members.

Fine Gael does not accept the language of the draft report that was discussed at the water committee today.

We believe it is disingenuous and misleading to the Irish public, and to members of the Oireachtas who ultimately will have to vote on this report.

Principles decided last week were:

· A generous allowance for normal domestic usage to be funded through taxation and a charge for excessive usage. 

· A tariff or levy to apply for excess usage or wilful waste. This will apply to households who use 70pc above average domestic usage.  

· This excessive usage equates to 8% of households who are responsible for a third of all domestic water consumption. 

Ireland has legal responsibilities under EU legislation that we simply cannot ignore.

We must have some form of tariff or levy for excessive usage. The alternative is to expose the Irish taxpayer to significant fines under articles of the EU Water Framework Directive.

Fine Gael has and will continue to work towards a resolution to what has been a very contentious issue in recent years.

We made good progress at the committee last week. We want to get back on track tomorrow and ultimately end up with a report that is fair and honest to the Irish people.


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