Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath has questioned the apparent contradictory statements from the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty on the issue of the refund of water charges.
Deputy McGrath was commenting after the Taoiseach said that he had in fact mentioned the issue of the refund of water charges at a previous Cabinet meeting.
“This is very different to what Minister Doherty said this morning on a radio show when she stated ‘I haven’t been fully briefed on it, and we haven’t had a cabinet meeting to discuss it.
“The Taoiseach must outline at which Cabinet meeting was the issue of refunds discussed, and why wasn’t Minister Doherty aware of this discussion?
“Secondly, we have heard vague references to how this €170 million refund will be funded. The Taoiseach needs to reassure the public that there are no plans to impose cuts to vital public services.
“Obscure references to savings and underspends isn’t acceptable. €170 million in savings is a considerable amount of money considering that over 80% of Government expenditure is in the critical areas of health, education and social protection.
“It’s not even August yet, and people will want to know the Taoiseach isn’t just flying a kite. We need clarity and details from the Government,” concluded McGrath