Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirms Government won't be re-introducing water charges
"Water charges will not be coming back".
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that the Government will not be re-introducing water charges.
His comments come after a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested Ireland should consider the re-introduction of the controversial measure.
The OECD stated that nutrient pollution is putting pressure on Ireland's water bodies and is causing "declining water quality in Ireland".
It also said that meeting the needs of Ireland's growing population, housing supply and economy will require much higher investment in water infrastructure.
The OECD's report stated: "There is a risk that the current funding model will be unable to keep up with the scale of required investment in the water sector," and that the Government should assess "whether introducing household water charges would be appropriate".
Asked about this on the way to Cabinet, this morning Martin said: "No we won't be going back on that. We won't be re-introducing water charges".
The Taoiseach said the Government has been investing "very strongly" in water infrastructure.
He said: "We're going to continue to invest in water but water charges will not be coming back".
Water charges were introduced in 2015 but were abolished a year later after a wave of backlash from the public.
However, an "excessive use charge" on water will be effective from 2022 and will apply to households where their annual water use exceeds a certain threshold.
The OECD says that only about 7% of houses will be affected by this change.