Water charges 'very unlikely' to return in same model as before - Simon Coveney

Fianna Fáil and other opposition groups are calling for water services to be paid for through general taxation

Water charges 'very unlikely' to return in same model as before - Simon Coveney

Image: RollingNews.ie

Water charges are unlikely to return in the same model as before, according to Minister Simon Coveney.

However, he stressed that water still needs to be paid for.

Fianna Fáil are calling for water services to be paid for through general taxation, but former Minister Alan Kelly says it would be illegal to scrap the charges.

Yesterday, Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan said legal advice she has received confirms Irish Water charges can be scrapped.

This claim contradicts the view of the European Commission, which states that the charges cannot be removed.

An expert commission is currently examining the issue of funding water services, with their report expected to be delivered by the end of November. 

Water charges are currently suspended for a nine-month period.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Housing, Planning and Local Government Minister conceded that the way water is paid for will probably change after the Government considers the expert commission's recommendations.

Minister Coveney explained: "I think it's very unlikely that we'd reintroduce water charges on the same model that was there before, because I think there's a need here for a change in approach.

"But I do think that a lot of people in Ireland understand the logic behind people making a contribution linked to the amount of water that they use," he added.