Speaking today during Leader’s Questions, the Taoiseach appeared to confirm that households would pay at least €240.00 on average per year for the next two years. However he also confirmed that the Government had not signed off on agreed figures.
Mr Kenny also admitted that this new charge would be difficult for households to accept, but stressed that the need for a new entity that can provide new water infrastructure was imperative, with up to 40% of the water in Dublin city currently leaking into the ground.
He said that on the advice received from the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, the maximum subvention allowed cannot exceed €537m and this equates to an average bill of €240 per household per year. No information was made available on the implications of water charges for families, specifically in relation to metering and each citizens ability to pay. A free allowance is expected to be available to all households, but the extent of same remains also not yet clear.
Unconfirmed reports state that an added standing charge of less than €50 per annum is also being proposed and it is also understood that households that have not been metered when these water charges come into effect in the autumn, will now be accessed on the basis of the number of persons living in each household.
Homeowners will be charged for using water from October 2014, but will not have to pay until January next year.