Simple and affordable plan for water provides certainty and secures investment – DEERING.

21st November, 2014

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said the Government’s water charges package announced today (Wednesday) provides a fair, simple and affordable plan for people ahead of the introduction of water charges next January. Deputy Deering

welcomed today’s announcement that addresses the concerns expressed over the last few months.

“To ensure simplicity, charges will be capped at €160 for single adult households and €260 for all other households. Once the universal Water Conservation Grant of €100 is applied the maximum net charges will be €60 per year, or just over €1.00 per week for single adult households. All other households’ maximum net charge will be €160 per year, or €3.00 per week.

“All eligible households will receive the water conservation grant of €100 per year from the Department of Social Protection, once they have registered with Irish Water. All workers will have their tax bill cut next year and will be better off in 2015 even after paying for their water charge.

“The installation of water meters will continue – meters reduce bills and find leaks. People with meters will be charged the capped or metered rate, whichever is lower, allowing them to beat the cap by conserving water. If metered households can reduce their water consumption by between ten and fifteen per cent, then approximately half of Irish households will be able to ‘beat the cap’ and receive bills lower than the capped charges. and receive bills lower than the capped charges.

“The focus on water conservation will continue. Irish Water’s investment programme will stop the leaks, ensure everyone has good, clean water and that the country has the water infrastructure it needs to secure investment and grow the economy.

“The start-date for charging has been moved to 1st January 2015 and the first water bills will arrive next April. We will introduce legislation that will allow capped charges to continue to be set from 2019 onwards.

“Water will remain in public ownership. The Government will legislate to ensure any proposed change in the ownership of Irish Water would be required to be put before the people.

“We have listened to people and arrived at a fair and affordable solution that gives people certainty while allowing the country to invest in our broken water infrastructure.”