“We will be putting the case to Gordon Brown..”

Despite being told previously that “additional contributions should be phased in with domestic households paying two thirds of their full liability in 2009/10 and full liability the year after”, and that

“The Executive accepted the case made by the report that without an uplift in what people currently contribute, other public services would be deprived of funding.”

It now appears that the Northern Ireland Executive, should it meet next week, might defer the introduction of the bill for those additional contributions – there has since been a correction to the figures quoted. [Strand 2 of the review referred to public confidence.. – Ed] According to NI First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, “it is not credible to place any greater burden on people here in the present dire global economic circumstances.” And Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, “has been in discussion with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister” and is, apparently, blaming the UK Treasury..

“I have been discussing with some Executive colleagues for the last while some propositions to try to mitigate against what we would need to collect for water. “We have discussed a number of options but of course it is dependent on the Treasury – unfortunately, so much of what we do here depends on the Treasury.”

More In this BBC report. Although it should still need Executive approval.