Deal to put Irish Water charges before the Dail opens door to Enda’s minority government…

If Fianna Fail have the deal I think they have, then they are quids in for supporting Enda Kenny at the head of a minority Fine Gael led government.

Putting the contentious matter out to a commission of experts brought some levity from pol corrs who remember the FF leader’s reputation for long fingering tough decisions when he was Minister of Health.

But this commission serves Mr Martin’s stated political interests (and a majority of current Dail parties) in a very particular way. Fiach Kelly, Sarah Bardon, Pat Leahy in the Irish Times:

While initially hostile to a compromise that involved a lengthy suspension of charges, Fine Gael backbenchers softened their positions as many realised a failure to reach a deal would cause an election.

The emerging deal would see a commission of experts established to examine issues surrounding water charges, such as alternative charging systems. Irish Water, as an entity, would not be referred to the commission.

The outcome of the commission would then be referred to an Oireachtas committee. The committee’s findings would then be voted on by the Dáil, as had been proposed by Fianna Fáil, meaning the future of charges would have to decided on the floor of the House. It is understood there is a chance this could happen within one year.

Mr Martin has argued that the majority of TDs in the current Dáil favour the abolition or suspension of water charges.

The spread of responsibility (beyond FF and FG) to find a workable solution to the political quagmire Irish Water has become, this deal has the potential to de-toxify the issue and put in place the workable technocratic solutions necessary to end a long crisis?

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  • Concubhar O Liathain

    This was always going to be the outcome of this election. Given what was said beforehand the two parties had to carry on a dance and a courtship in order to justify the transformation of their pre-election positions. Now the people are ‘desperate’ for a government….so we will, apparently, buy anything…….

  • Isn’t there an EU requirement to establish a payable cost for water at some point? Down the line in respect of target date, but there is one somewhere….

  • Msiegnaro

    Are the people desperate for a government?

  • Nordie Northsider

    I imagine lots of law-abiding, upstanding Fine Gael folk are going to be mighty pissed off about having paid those water charges while others didn’t and ‘got away with it.’