"This ground has already been covered" - Ciarán Lynch on planned water charges commission

The 'Report on Water Provision' was completed by a Dáil Joint Environment Committee in 2012

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Ciaran Lynch. Image: RollingNews.ie

A former TD who delivered a comprehensive report on water provision in 2012 says the planned commission into wager charges will be examining ground that 'has already been covered'.

Fine Gael negotiators reached an agreement with Fianna Fáil to suspend water charges in return for support for an Enda Kenny-led minority Government.

The agreement will see charges suspended for nine months while an independent commission reviews the payment scheme.

An Oireachtas committee will then examine the commission's findings, and that will be followed by a Dáil vote on the findings.

Ciarán Lynch is a former Labour TD for Cork South Central. In 2012, Mr Lynch was Chair of the Dáil Joint Environment Committee which delivered a comprehensive Report on Water Provision.

Speaking to Newstalk Lunchtime, Mr Lynch said, "the real annoying part of this is that this ground has already been covered.

"What is being presented... is that the bill can be hidden away... or be made go away. The reality is that whatever method is chosen for the development of the water infrastructural requirements of this country... the bill is going to have to be paid," he argued.

He suggested that "we're not only investing into the future - we're also investing into around 100 years in terms of catching up... If the cost of this is loaded in its entirety on to the Irish citizenry... that bill will actually be bigger in terms of taxation".

On the subject of Government formation, the former TD observed that "we've seen a contrivement of discussions over the last two months that has resulted in a three-page draft document which is nowhere close to being a programme for Government.

"I believe that sort of process will continue right through the period of this Government - whatever is hobbled together next week," he added.