Water issue will see Government in power "for another few months"

Fianna Fáil's John McGuinness has criticised his own party on the water deal

John McGuinness in the AV room at Leinster House in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

John McGuinness in the AV room at Leinster House in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness says he thinks the Government will be in power "for another few months".

The Dáil voted last week by 96 to 48 to accept a report from the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services.

The report says charges should be abolished except for excessive use, a referendum on public ownership should be held and meters are to be installed in all new builds.

It is now over to Housing Minister Simon Coveney to draft legislation to formally end the charging regime brought in by the last Government.

Mr McGuinness, who is chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, has hit out at his own party and the latest water controversy.

He told Yates on Sunday: "The real issue about water was not tackled at all, which is the cost of Irish Water, which is where this debate actually stemmed from."

"This Dáil and new politics does not address the issues - it addresses the perception.

"But the real issues have yet to be addressed because the legislation will come after the summer in relation to this.

"When that legislation is brought forward it will have been written by civil servants and by the minister, who have no interest in the deal that has been done".

Asked why his party put this deal forward, Mr McGuinness said: "(Fianna Fáil) were part-authors of the final deal, and that is the problem with new politics.

"I'm not creating a distance between me and Fianna Fáil, I'm creating a distance between me and new politics.

"I have never agreed with it. It is a function to keep a government here for the country.

"As much as Fianna Fáil has changed its attitude towards water, Fine Gael has - so what you're getting really is not the policy that Fine Gael were elected on, not Fianna Fáil policy.

"You're getting a mish-mash of policies in order to keep this Government going for another few months.

"That's not necessarily the right policy for the State and how it should function - but it's what we're living with right now".

Source: newsTalk.com by Jack Quann Apr 16 2016