Domestic water charge programme has been a “fiasco” says TD

CORK South West TD Michael Collins has spoke of his anger and embarrassment at what he called the ‘fiasco’ that was the domestic water charges and the handling of this policy by the government and Irish Water.

‘Had your government, Minister, listened to the people of Ireland, we wouldn’t have to refund €173 million, creating a further deficit of at least €5 million for administration costs,’ Deputy Collins said during the Water Services Amendment Bill 2017 debate in the Dáil recently. However, I am astonished that with the number of referendums planned for the next year or two, there is no mention of Irish Water and an amendment to ensure that this company cannot be privatised.’

‘Now the plan is to pay for water through general taxation and this will mean a double charging on people, as well as people who are on group water schemes,’ Deputy Collins continued. I think it is only fair that people would be able to avail of a tax-free allowance for the money that they have already paid as part of group schemes. I understand this would not fully compensate such people on group water schemes but it will help in a small way to ensure that these people won’t be hit by double taxation.’

‘However, I am delighted to support this Water Services Amendment Bill 2017, which will refund those people who paid these clearly unwanted water charges, and hope it speeds its way through the Dáil so people will get their payments quickly.