Alan Kelly will not be taking Senators’ water votes for granted

Minister ‘quietly confident’ he can convince enough members to allow Bill to pass

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said he will not be taking Senators votes for granted as the Seanad debates controversial water legislation today.Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said he will not be taking Senators votes for granted as the Seanad debates controversial water legislation today.Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

 

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said he will not be taking Senators’ votes for granted as the Seanad debates controversial water legislation today.

Mr Kelly said he was “quietly confident” he could convince enough members of the Seanad to allow the Bill pass. It was guillotined in the Dail on Wednesday night.

“I expect them to consider the Bill and make their own choices. I wouldn’t pre-suppose anything in relation to how they make their decisions,” Mr Kelly said.

“I think it would be wrong to take anyone for granted.”

Mr Kelly said he had often found the best debates in Leinster House took place in the Seanad.

He said everyone who had been elected or nominated to the Seanad was there on their own merits.

“They have their own decisions to make and I don’t think it’s appropriate to start lecturing Senators.”

Mr Kelly said Senators knew what the consequences of their vote would mean.

Ministers have previously warned the old, harsher charging regime will be introduced in January if Senators fail to back the legislation, as opposed to lower bills in April under the Government’s revised scheme.

“I’m certainly not going to lecture them as regards what they should.ir shouldn’t do. That would be inappropriate in any circumstances,” he said.

“They have to make up their own minds. I’d be quietly confident that I’ll be able to convince them.”

He was speaking at a Simon event in Dublin this morning.