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'Many people are surprised and relieved at water charges' - Tánaiste Joan Burton

The Tánaiste Joan Burton says people are "surprised and relieved" over the modesty of the ...
Newstalk
Newstalk

08.52 14 Sep 2015


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'Many people are surpr...

'Many people are surprised and relieved at water charges' - Tánaiste Joan Burton

Newstalk
Newstalk

08.52 14 Sep 2015


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The Tánaiste Joan Burton says people are "surprised and relieved" over the modesty of the water charges.

It comes as Irish Water says just over half people have now paid their bill.

Early figures from the first billing cycle of January to March put the compliance rate at 43%. That figure has now risen to 51%.

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On the water issue, Ms Burton told Newstalk Breakfast: "I'm very confident because in all my conversations with people many people mention that they're both surprised and relieved that the water charges are actually relatively modest".

"We hope to encourage everybody to pay".

"The expectations are that as each billing cycle arrives, the actual payment rates will increase".

"What I hope is that people who voted for the Labour Party will say 'I want to see a government in this country that is actually capable of making decision in favour of people, and is not simply about protest'".

Ms Burton also confirmed that a referendum on repealing the 8th constitutional amendment will be in the Labour Party manifesto going into the next general election.

She says they are consulting with medical and legal experts on the issue - but says it will be on their platform when they are preparing to go to the people in a vote which she still expects will be at the end of the current coalition's term in office.

"Yes, I do anticipate that that will be in the Labour Party's platform", she said.

Asked whether abortion would be a red-line issue for Labour, Ms Burton said: "I don't use the term 'red lines' - I use the term 'negotiating for a better future for everybody in Ireland'".

"I look at the opposition...they're dismal, they're disorientated, they're disaffected...they're populist - because they have a popular answer and a soft, easy answer to everything" she added.

Listen to her full interview below:


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