27 June 2016

The understanding that the derogation exempting Ireland from water charges was ended by the Fianna Fail/ Green Government, is borne out by a statement today issued by EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella in response to a Parliamentary Question by Marian Harkin.

It is clear from Commissioner Vella’s reply that the derogation ended on the adoption by the Fianna Fail/ Green Government, of the river basin management plans in July 2010.

In those plans, the then-government made a clear commitment to set up water charges to comply with the provisions of Article 9(1), so ending the derogation that had been enjoyed up top that point.

This is in line with Labour’s understanding of the genesis of our water charging regime, as articulated repeatedly by Alan Kelly, and it is now clear, that by the time we came into office in 2011, the water-charge train had already left the station.

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