Lack of information about what Irish Water will charge people for water led to angry exchanges at yesterday’s Oireachtas Environment Committee. The Committee had been hoping to hear about Irish Water’s submission on pricing from the Commission for Energy Regulation, the CER, but it wasn’t to be. This was the second week in a row that the CER didn’t have the information everyone is waiting for – how much will water cost. Fianna Fail’s Environment Spokesperson and Acting Committee Chairman, Barry Cowen spoke to Sean.
After days of Sinn Fein dominating the news headlines – yesterday the focus was back on the three other main political parties. Fianna Fail had a difficult day with Mary Hanafin defying party leader Micheal Martin to run in the local elections in Blackrock in Dublin. For the goverment parties two issues were to the fore - water charges and the Data Protection Commissioner’s ruling on Minister Alan Shatter With Sean in studio was Stephen Collins, political editor of the Irish Times.
The Cabinet is today putting the finishing touches on the structure of water charges after weeks of discussion and reports of disagreement between the coalition parties. It reported that families will get free water for every child under the age of 18 while pensioners and disabled will get €100 a year to help with the cost. Joining Sean was Paul Melia Environment Correspondent with the Irish Independent.
As we’ve been hearing the water charges issue is being discussed at cabinet this morning. According to today’s Irish Independent the average annual bill for a family of two adults and two children will be €248. Fionnan Sheahan is group political editor with Independent Newspapers and he was with Sean this morning as was Fianna Fail’s environment spokesman Barry Cowen.