Murphy warns of "renewed campaign of protest" if government attempts to re-introduce water charges

A report suggesting some form of charge could be re-introduced has been leaked to RTÉ

Murphy warns of "renewed campaign of protest" if government attempts to re-introduce water charges

Anti Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy outside Leinster House in Dublin. Image: Brian Lawless PA Wire/PA Images

Independent TD Paul Murphy has warned of a renewed street protest campaign if any attempt is made to re-introduce water charges.

The Expert Commission established to examine funding options for Irish water services may conclude that a “modest” charge will be required to guarantee Ireland meets its legal obligations under EU directives, according to reports from RTÉ.

The commission is expected to deliver its report on water services to an Oireachtas Committee in the next fortnight.

The options will then be debated in the Dáil ahead of a vote next March.

Deputy Murphy said reports the commission is set to recommend some form of water charge is, “the least surprising news of the year.”

“Whatever the Expert Water Commission says will not change the reality of this political debate,” he said.

“A majority of TDs elected to the Dáil were elected on a platform which included opposition to water charges and Irish Water.”

The Anti Austerity Alliance TD said Fianna Fáil will hold the balance of power in the debate - with the outcome dependent upon whether, “they stick to their election promises.”

“That will be determined not by any principles of Fianna Fáil, which are non-existent, but by how much political pressure they feel,” he said.

“Fianna Fáil and the government should know - if any attempt is made to re-introduce water charges, they will be met by a renewed campaign of protest and non-payment and will pay an enormous political price.”

The commission’s findings will be considered by a special Oireachtas Committee made up of 16 TDs and four Senators which is due to be established next week.

Deputy Murphy will represent the Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit on the committee.