CLODAGH SHEEHY – 04 APRIL 2013 10:40 AM
THE Government is under pressure from the Troika to put water charges in place next year.
It’s believed the Coalition Government was hoping to put off water charges until 2015 – but a confidential Troika report has revealed that water charges are still on course to be introduced early next year.
However, it’s expected that these charges might be deferred until later in 2014 – after the European and Local Elections.
Fianna Fail’s environment spokesperson Barry Cowen insists there should be no fees until the Government can guarantee that the water supply is fit for purpose.
“This is quickly becoming yet another fiasco at the hands of Phil Hogan,” he said.
“What we need now is a guarantee from the minister that the national water audit will be carried out without further delay and the necessary upgrades will take place before water charges are introduced.”
The Troika’s insistence on water charges comes as Dublin’s water crisis looks set to continue into the weekend.
Restaurant owners are accusing the city council of making a “complete hames” of the current water shortage in the capital.
Angry restaurant owners said their phone calls to Dublin City Council went unanswered over the weekend.
Association chief executive Adrian Cummins said his members had to resort to primitive methods like storing water in buckets as they struggled to keep their businesses open.
“My members are receiving local authority rates bills at the moment that the authority want us to pay immediately for a service that we’re not being provided with,” Mr Cummins said.
“You need water to run a restaurant, to cook food, to clean up and to wash up and to provide a service, but the local authority has made a complete hames of this, three years on from the last debacle.”
Restrictions on the water supply across Dublin were lifted slightly last night from about 14 hours down to 10 hours.
But it is understood that more restrictions will apply tonight and will only be eased fully after the weekend.
While many of the pipes cracked by the cold weather have been repaired, the council is still coping with algae which has restricted supplies from the Roundwood filtration plant.