11 April 2017

Labour Party representative on the Water Committee, Jan O’Sullivan has said:

“In farcical scenes following today’s last minute legal advice, the final report of the Water Committee was subject to extensive amendments reversing most of last week’s changes, that Fianna Fáil supported at the time.

“The Labour Party still cannot support the final report on the basis that it proposes to use the criminal law to penalise those who excessively waste water instead of simply charging them.

“We now face the real possibility that people will be dragged through the courts for excess use of water. It is also likely that Ireland may face EU fines.”

“There are recommendations in the Report that we do support although parts of it are by design ambiguous to meet the political needs of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“Labour from the beginning advocated that a referendum should be held to ensure that our water infrastructure remains in public ownership forever.

“We also advocated that those who complied with the law should not be disadvantaged, and all who paid their charges should be refunded in full. That too is now to happen.

“No doubt this farce will continue to develop once the legislative proposals are brought before the Oireachtas.”

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