Fianna Fáil has welcomed indications that the Government may finally break its silence on the level of water charges facing households across the country.

The u-turn comes ahead of a Fianna Fáil private members motion in the Dáil this week calling on Fine Gael and Labour to end the secrecy over water charges and come clean with households about how much they will be forced to pay.  The motion calls for clarification on how the 1 million unmetered households will be charged, a commitment to providing rebates to households with poor water quality, and concessions for people with special needs, large families and households that are in serious financial difficulty.

The party’s Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen commented, “I very much welcome indications that the Government appears to have finally seen sense on a number key issues relating to water charges.  I hope that Labour have agreed to the changes. I have yet to see the details and I am urging Minister Hogan to publish the agreement without further delay.

“I sincerely hope that this marks a new willingness on behalf of Fine Gael and Labour to be upfront with households about the water charges they will begin to clock up from October.  The Environment Minister Phil Hogan and his Fine Gael colleagues have done their utmost to avoid spelling out exactly how much people will have to pay for their water ahead of the local and European elections.  This secrecy must now be brought to an end.  Taxpayers have pumped tens of millions into setting up Phil Hogan’s super quango Irish Water and they have a right to know what kind of service they can expect and how much they will have to pay for it.”