Updated: 13/04/17 : 10:30:46
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Water charges end today with referendum to decide privatisation

The water charges regime introduced by the last Government will come to an end later today.

The Dáil will vote to accept the report of the water services committee.

It says only those who excessively use water will pay, refunds will be issued and there will be a referendum to prevent water services ever being privatised.

Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen says it is time to move on from water and deal with the issues people want addressed: “Now is the time to settle this issue and to heal the political devisive wounds that have opened up.

“The country faces into uncertain times. Choppy seas await us in relation to Brexit.

“Our housing crisis demands real leadership and we need to show that the political maturity and sense that had prevailed on this issue, can agree a new framework for water for example.”

But some parties and independents still insist water charges are not gone completely.  Sinn Féin's Eoin O'Broin: “Phil Hogan and Alan Kelly's Frankenstein water charge regime is dead, it is probably the only thing I agree with deputy Cowen on.

“A back door has been left open to universal water charges in the future, through this so-called excessive use charges.”