HOWLIN CALLS FOR GUARANTEES ON WATER REFERENDUM AND REFUNDS

Issued 30 November 2016

Labour leader, Brendan Howlin, has called on the Government to provide clarity over whether it will support the idea of a referendum to keep Ireland’s water infrastructure in public ownership.


It follows the publication of the report by the Expert Commission on water yesterday, which makes clear the principle that public ownership should be protected in our constitution.

The issue of public ownership was raised by Deputy Howlin during Leaders' Questions:


“Minister Bruton’s assertion that the Government is open to discussing a constitutional referendum won’t give people the assurance they want on this matter.


“So, the Labour Party will resubmit our Referendum Bill that will protect all our networks, including gas and electricity, so we don’t repeat the disaster of the sale of the Telecom network.


“I also asked the minister for assurance that law abiding citizens who paid their water charges in good faith would be fully refunded. His reluctance to make such a commitment is simply not good enough.”