Bill to suspend water charges passed in Dáil

It will now need to be passed by the Seanad

Irish Water, treatment plants, Galway, rural, boil water notices, Paul Melia, Cork, Arklow

File photo of water running from a household tap | PA Images

Legislation to suspend water charges for nine months has passed all stages in the Dáil.

The Water Services Bill passed the final stage without a vote and will now go to the Seanad.

Once it is passed there, an expert group will examine how the state will pay for water services in the future. 

Speaking today Minister Simon Coveney said that he explained the position to the European Commission in a meeting in recent days and that this does not mean that water charges have been scrapped:

"I cannot understand why many of the members opposite, not Fianna Fáil, seem to think that the only way to deal with this issue is to vote democratically now and to abolish water charges," he said.

"Why are they so afraid of a democratic process that we have put in train, whereby we will vote on this issue in about nine months time."