Labour Blog

This is a significant moment for the country - Minister Alan Kelly

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 09:36 PM

Today Minister Alan Kelly announced the details of the new water package saying ‘we as a Government needed time to listen and take stock and have done that’.

Minister Alan Kelly added: “We can either create the only company capable of delivering water infrastructure for our citizens or we can ignore the problems of future generations and let water shortages become a reality for our children.”

The key measures are as follows:

  • We are setting new capped annual charges. The capped charges will be €160 for single adult households and €260 for all other households until 1 January 2019. There will bespecific legislative provision to allow for capped charges to continue to be set from 2019 onwards.
  • All eligible households will receive a Water Conservation Grant of €100 per year; This means that the net cost to single adult households will be €60; For other households it will be no more than€160.
  • Households with either a water supply only or sewage only service will pay 50% of the new rates;
  • Metered usage can bring charges below the relevant cap. The children’s allowance remains at 21,000 litres per annum and will apply to all persons resident in a property aged under 18 (irrespective of whether the child qualifies for Child Benefit), meaning children will continue to go free;
  • For metered bills, the charge for water in/out is reduced to €3.70 per 1,000 litres (almost 25% lower than the previous subsidised rate);
  • The system is based on self-declaration and appropriate audit.  PPS Numbers will not be required for registration. 
  • The starting date for domestic water charging is being pushed back to 1 January 2015, withfirst bills to issue fromthe first week of April 2015;
  • In cases where water is unfit for human consumption, the affected customers will receive a 100% discount on the costs of their drinking water supply for the duration of the restriction. Therefore, customers will only be required to pay for the sewage treatment.

The revised package of measures have significant benefits for consumers:

  • Certainty: Every household will know what their capped bills will be until the end of 2018.
  • Simplicity: There are now only three numbers that are relevant – the two charging structures and the conservation grant.
  • Affordability:  The absolute maximum net cost is now just over €3 per week. For single households, it will be approximately €1.15 per week – Much less than one per cent of most people’s incomes or benefits and puts water bills among the lowest in Europe.
  • Conservation: With a meter, households will have the opportunity to pay less than the capped bill and they can use the Water Conservation Grant to make changes to avail of lower charges.

Households, who have not previously responded, can register with Irish Water:

  • Online from today at  www.water.ie
  • By returning the revised application form which will be available to download from www.water.ie to the address on the form
  • By phone from Monday, 24 November 2014

You can find more information on the measures announced today in our media centre

 

 

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