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State of the Nation: Will water charges be capped for the next two years?

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 Cabinet meeting this morning provides an opportunity for ministers to discuss the various proposals on the table for dealing with the water charges controversy. There is now a growing expectation that bills will be capped for two years as meter installation continues across the country.

Minister Alan Kelly TD. Pictured Minis Source: sam boal

Yesterday, Environment Minister Alan Kelly was indicating this was his preferred way of stemming the considerable public anger and said the eventual charges would be “modest”.

On his way into Cabinet this morning, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said there will be a statement on Irish Water next week and said he would like to see clarity and confidence restored in the utility.

We’ve learned a lot about the government’s strategy in recent days. It’s all about saying sorry for mistakes, admitting it was all rushed and taking time to come up with a solution in the hope that it does the trick. The problem is that the longer this drags on the longer it’s on the political agenda and the more damaging it becomes for the government.

The agenda 

  • As mentioned, the Cabinet meets this morning.
  • Enda Kenny rings the Nasdaq opening bell at the Dublin Web Summit at 2.10pm
  • The director general of the Environmental Protection Agency, Laura Burke, goes before the Environment Committee at 2.15pm.
  • The Taoiseach is back in the Dáil for Leaders’ Questions at 3.15pm
  • At 7.30pm, Michael Noonan briefs the Finance Committee ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers. 

Dublin Web Technology Summits Enda Kenny rings the Nasdaq bell at last year's Web Summit Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

What the others are saying…

  • Today FM reports that Fine Gael TDs were given briefing notes warning that the increase in child benefit would have to be reversed if water charges were scrapped
  • The Irish Times says that one of the options being considered by government is to cap water charges at €300 for families.
  • The same paper also reports that under-sixes and over-70s who avail of free GP care could face a nominal fee of around €5.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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