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  • by Karma Loveday

Irish government snubs call to reconsider domestic water charging

The Irish government has snubbed an OECD recommendation that the republic should reconsider the introduction of domestic water charges.

The proposal was highlighted in an OECD review just published, of Ireland’s environmental performance over the last decade. The organisation noted that the Irish state was the only OECD country which didn’t levy domestic water charges and argued that charges were needed to accelerate investment in water supply and wastewater treatment.

The OECD said the Irish government should “assess whether the funding model for water services is sufficient to cover the high investment costs and whether introducing household water charges would be appropriate”. The report also highlighted that only 60 per cent of the Irish population was connected to advanced wastewater treatment, the third lowest level among OECD countries.

However, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has ruled out any revisiting of the issue of water charges, saying: “We won’t be going back to that, we won’t be introducing water charges.” His stance was echoed by environment minister Eamon Ryan.

The attempted introduction of domestic water charges was one of the most contentious political issues of the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government during the austerity years, prompting a massive public backlash.


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