The Tánaiste says the government has made significant progress in reaching a deal on water charges.

Eamon Gilmore says Fine Gael and Labour have edged closer to an agreement even since the cabinet meeting two days ago.

He has again stressed that the government will not rush into a decision – even if it means having no deal before the local and European elections.

But he says the two parties are getting closer to a final deal.

“A lot of work has been done – issues relating to children, issues relating to the free allowance and so on” he explained.

“As I’ve said from the beginning we’re anxious to get this done as quickly as possible, but we also need to get it right. What is being put in place is an arrangement which will probably last probably for the next two decades”.

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