Clear information now available on how water charges will affect you – Deering

10th May, 2014

 

Fine Gael TD for Carlow, Pat Deering, has expressed his satisfaction that details of the water charges are now in the public domain, and appeals to the people of Carlow to look past the dramatics of the opposition parties to the real information.

“There is no turning back on the introduction of water charges, this was a measure agreed by the previous Fianna Fáil government as terms of the bailout. It is however the priority of this Government to make these charges as fair, equitable and affordable as possible.

“It is sometimes difficult for the public to see past the cloak and daggers of the opposition. Other parties are calling these charges unfair, they claim they would not introduce charges in this way if they were in power. It is on the record however, that in the original deal Fianna Fáil had envisaged an annual charge of €400 introduced in 2013 with no allowances for those in need. Sinn Féin on the other hand claim they do not support water charges, while over the border in Northern Ireland water charges are already in place. At an average of €950 per household, domestic rates in the North are far in excess of their equivalent in the South.

“It is easy to sit on the sidelines and find faults with the work of the Government. What the people of Ireland need is a proactive and progressive Government who are willing to work in their best interest.

“The truth about water charges is that the average bill will be €240 per year. The Commissioner for Energy Regulation will determine the exact price per litre in August.

“As promised the charging for water will include a free household allowance of 30,000 litres per annum and as it was always intended, children will go free with 38,000 litres free per child.  Allowances have also been provided for other vulnerable groups, for people living alone and for carers, the disabled and those in need.

“It was important to us that water charges be based on usage and not on employment status to ensure that working families are not unfairly treated.

“Many people with their own wells or those signed up to group water schemes have contacted me concerned about how these measure will affect them. In short, they will not have to pay for water supply, despite what opposition party candidates and others are telling people on the door step.

“The introduction of water charges will really change the way we live in Ireland. There is no doubt about that, but it’s not bad thing. At present 40% of our water supply is lost on leakage and 23,500 people are on boil water notices. The introduction of Irish Water will result in a much more water conscious consumer and it will vastly improve our water network.

“Water is essential to every home, every school and every business across the country. It is vital that we are clear about what this will cost and that people are not misinformed by others who claim they would have done better, when that is simply not the case.”