Dáil debate on water postponed until tomorrow as final report approved

The move is to allow the committee to meet to try and finally agree a final draft report

Dáil debate on water postponed until tomorrow as final report approved

A water glass is filled with drinking water from a home water pipe | Image: Roland Weihrauch/DPA/PA Images

Fianna Fáil's insisting water charges are gone after a deal was done for a final report from the water committee.

It was backed by 13 votes to seven - with right2water, the Greens and Labour opposing it.

The report recommends levies or charges are kept for those using excessive amounts of water, while meters will be installed in all new builds.

Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen said the reality is charges are gone for most people:

"Water charges are gone - 92% of people will never receive a bill again," he said. "When all the spin has faded away, the facts will still remain - this failed regime is gone.

"I want to say to anyone that's listening - if you ever get a bill, give me a shout."

Dáil debate

A Dáil debate that had been due to take place tonight on water has been postponed until tomorrow.

The move is to allow the committee to meet to try and finally agree a final draft report.

Earlier, fresh legal advice proposed major changes to the report, prompting harsh words between all parties in the government

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been at odds over the report's recommendations in recent days, with Fianna Fáil warning the water charges issue could trigger a general election.

Sinn Féin's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accused the government of bully-boy tactics:

"Today we have round two of the plan to sabotage the committee report spearheaded by your government," she said to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe earlier said he is confident that if all parties engage on the matter that the space is there to find a resolution on the funding of water.

He said the public expect the matter to be dealt with.

"They expect reasonable and sensible parties to be able to reach a compromise on this issue," said Mr Donohoe.