Budget is fair and equitable on water charges – DEERING.

14th October, 2014


Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said today (Tuesday) that Budget 2015 is fair and equitable on water charges, citing supports for the vulnerable to help them pay for water.

“Budget 2015 is fair and equitable on the matter of water charges, with the introduction of a tax relief aswell as supports to help vulnerable people.

“In his budget speech, Minister Noonan announced that income tax relief will be available at the Standard Rate in respect of water charges up to a maximum of €500 per household per year. This relief will be worth up to €100 per household and will be a significant contribution towards water charges. As we know, children go free, so this measure will really support families with adult children living at home.

“Also announced today were special supports for vulnerable people in relation to water charges. There will be a new Water Subsidy worth €100 per anum for all recipients of the Household Benefits Package. This will significantly reduce a person’s water bill, and when combined with efforts to reduce water use, it will make the bill much more manageable.

“I know that water charges have been difficult for people but we must invest in our water system which has been severely underfunded by previous Governments. Without water charges, all investment by Irish Water would be put back on the Exchequer and our deficit would increase by €850m.

“The Opposition Parties will tell you what they think you want to hear on the matter of water, but the reality is that Fine Gael is doing the responsible thing in Government and making the kind of tough decisions that have gotten our economy back on track. I am pleased that this Budget has prioritised the protection of the vulnerable when it comes to water.

“Fianna Fáil’s recovery plan, published in 2010 before the collapse of the last Government, showed that they planned to introduce water charges at a higher rate than is currently the case, and with no details of concessions for the vulnerable. Sinn Féin say they’re against water charges but their Government in the North charges for water. Worse still, their plans to fund Irish Water have a €550 million hole in them, which would inevitably have to be covered by the Exchequer. Are they going to raise taxes to cover this?

“Today Minister Noonan outlined the steady economic growth we can expect over the coming years. Prudent and responsible budgeting has got us to this point and that approach will continue.

“Water charges are among the sacrifices that Irish people have had to make to get the country back to this point. The overriding aim of this Budget will be to secure and solidify the economic recovery, while giving a little back to those who have sacrificed. The concessions on water charges are just one example of how this Government is prioritising the protection of vulnerable people while taking the necessary decisions to secure the economic recovery and ensure the benefits are felt by all.”