Government Chief Whip: Water charges to be suspended at end of current billing cycle in June

Regina Doherty is advising people to "adhere to the law of the land" until the charges are suspended

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The new Government Chief Whip says water charges will be suspended in June - at the end of the current billing cycle.

Regina Doherty is encouraging people - including her new Cabinet colleague Finian McGrath, who has said he has never paid paid his Irish Water bills - to pay their charges until the suspension is in place.

The Fine Gael deputy also said the Programme for Government will likely be revealed on Thursday, with junior ministries announced next week.

Deputy Doherty says those who do not pay their water charges are breaking the law - and the money will be collected.

"Effectively, even if it is suspended, the law of the land stands from the legislation passed 18 months ago," she told Newstalk Breakfast.

"The charges are effectively legal, and they will be collected regardless of whether someone pays now or they pay later. I will obviously being advising people to adhere to the law of the land, and to pay the outstanding bills that have been issued by Irish Water so far," she added.