Following a campaign against water charges, the government announces they are to be abolished.

The government's decision to scrap water chargers has been described by campaigners as a victory for people power.

The controversy over water charges brought ordinary people onto the streets and into the courts.

Campaigner Joe Higgins applauds the efforts of ordinary people involved in nationwide campaigns over the last ten years to put a halt to the charges. He believes the removal of what he calls a "unjust tax" is a tribute to the efforts of ordinary people.

The Minister for the Environment Brendan Howlin confirmed that both water and sewage charges are to be scrapped. The cost of running the water network would now come from general taxation. The news has been welcomed by groups across the country.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 December 1996. The reporter is Gareth O'Connor.