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State of the Nation: Can Fine Gael and Labour agree on water charges?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

HERE IS THEJOURNAL.IE’s comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world this morning.

Everyone’s talking about… 

The confusion over water charges.

Action Plans for Jobs Reports Enda Kenny and Joan Burton Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Rather than making the situation over charges clearer, the Government seems to have further muddied the water. In the Dáil yesterday, Tánaiste Joan Burton said that a family of four, including two adult children, will likely face a bill of less than €200 per year.

However, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said that “no figures have been decided on” and “there are no final decisions” amid increasing uncertainty as to just how much householders can be expected to pay will bills arrive early next year.

In a further twist, the Irish Times is reporting today that the coalition is considering extending fixed rate water charges until 2018.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly yesterday refused to rule out getting Revenue to chase unpaid water bills. He has said that clarity on all issues will be given next week. However, Enda Kenny said the process of finalising revised proposals could take up to two weeks.

Both Houses of the Oireachtas will discuss water charges today, with Kelly set to appear before the Seanad at 11.45am. We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

The agenda

  • Finance Minister Michael Noonan will be answering questions in the Dáil at 9.30am.
  • Environment Minister Alan Kelly will come before the Seanad at 11.45am to discuss water charges.
  • The Taoiseach will be in the Dáil for Leaders’ Questions at 12pm.
  • Bank of Ireland CEO Richie Boucher will appear before the Finance Committee at 2pm.

What the others are saying…

  • Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy has written a piece in today’s Irish Times in which he accuses his party of abusing the independence of the Dáil and failing to implement fundamental political reform.

Fine Gael Think Ins Eoghan Murphy Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

  • The Irish Daily Mail leads with a claim that Tánaiste Joan Burton is “at war” with Fine Gael over water charges following her comments that a family of four adults will face an annual water bill of “below €200″.
  • The Irish Independent reports that the Government has made €1.5 billion so far this year from the sharp rise in house prices.

In case you missed it…

  • The Republican Party has regained control of the US Senate.
  • An internal review carried out by the International Monetary Fund has found that the body gave countries faulty advice following the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The Government will make a decision in the next seven weeks on whether to hold a referendum to allow Irish people living abroad to vote in presidential elections.
  • The Mayor of South County Dublin is taking a 10% pay cut and giving the money to charity.
  • There was an odd exchange between Gerry Adams and TV3 journalist Ursula Halligan at Leinster House. 

On the Twitter machine… 

Let’s not open that can of worms again…

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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