Murphy launches scathing attack on handling of charges

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly told he deserves a medal for ‘cute hoorism’

Independent TD Catherine Murphy launched a scathing attack in the Dáil on the Government’s handling of legislation dealing with water services

Independent TD Catherine Murphy launched a scathing attack in the Dáil on the Government’s handling of legislation dealing with water services

 

Independent TD Catherine Murphy launched a scathing attack in the Dáil on the Government’s handling of legislation dealing with water services.

She said the Dáil was misled either by Minister for Environment Alan Kelly or Minister of State Paudie Coffey.

She said: “This House has become an inconvenience for the Government. What is occurring is an absolute show of contempt for this parliament and the parliamentary process.”

Ms Murphy was speaking during the two-day debate on amendments to the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill that was dealing with “a park in Kerry, dog-breeding penalties and expanded monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency of air quality”.

She said the legislation before the Dáil was the third Bill related to water services that had been through a “very flawed process”.

Ms Murphy said the first Bill in February 2013 was so heavily guillotined that only one amendment was debated.

Debate on the second Bill in December that year was restricted to three hours. “It was such an abuse of the process that the entire Opposition walked out,” she reminded the Dáil. And now “here we are again taking more liberties with the process”.

At committee stage when they were informed of changes to be brought in at report stage, the Kildare North TD was told it was “really a question of dotting the is and crossing the ts” with no huge changes and plenty of time to consider amendments.

She pointed out that the Bill introduces mandatory registration for Irish Water for everyone. “It establishes a lien on people’s property so it cannot be sold without the water charges being paid.” It created a new database of information on water charges supplied to every dwelling in the State.

People before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said Mr Kelly “deserves a medal from the political school of cute hoorism” in attempting to manipulate “and circumvent proper democratic procedure and political oversight of important legislation that affect citizens”.

Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy said the process “makes a joke of the rules of this House”.