Water charges on hold until 2014

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said water charges will not be introduced in January next year.

In an interview with RTÉ News Mr Gilmore, who is currently on a trade mission to Turkey, said it had always been the position that the introduction of water charges was dependant on the introduction of metering.

He said it was now clear that sufficient metering would not have been carried out by next January for water charges to come into effect.

Mr Gilmore said the eventual introduction of the charge “will really depend on what progress is made on the installation of meters and I expect that to take some time”.

Four days ago, the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, said that the charges would come into effect on 1 January next year.

Mr Hogan said the date for the introduction of the charges had been set by the Troika and it was not up to the Government to change it.

Deputy leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, said the water charges issue should be shelved but failing that the Government has to make its agenda clear.