Fianna Fáil Cllr for North Tipperary County Council John Carroll says householders should be allowed to privately install water meters because of the exorbitant rate that government is proposing to force them to pay through the new quango, Irish Water.
Cllr Carroll commented: “We are hearing that every household in the country will be forced to pay an incredible amount of €800 over 20 years for the privilege of being charged for their water.
“Do Fine Gael and Labour think that people will be fooled by saying they won’t have to pay for the installation up front? Whether it is an upfront cost or an annual cost over 20 years, an attempt to spread the payment does not hide the fact that households should not have to pay for water meters to be installed and then pay for the water as well.”
Cllr Carroll also called on Minister Hogan to clarify if newer homes in Tipperary that already have water meters fitted will be forced to pay the €800 charge.
“Many newer houses that have been constructed already have water meters installed, will those households still have to pay the standing charge? Will those without meters be forced to pay extra? These issues and many more need to be clarified by the government to avoid more mass confusion.
“Local suppliers have confirmed that all of the hardware required for installation costs less than €100, the labour for this will surely be less than €700 so where are the government getting this figure?
“Minister Hogan has given no indication whatsoever of how these charges will be implemented in a fair way. Families throughout Tipperary who are already to the pin of their collar are now extremely worried about how they will cope with water bills on top of everything else.
“This whole escapade has striking similarities with the household tax communications disaster. This is absolutely the wrong way to begin a debate on such an important issue, and it does not bode well the future.
“The Government needs to face this head on and be honest with householders about what is coming down the line. Lessons must be learned from the household charge debacle and the people must be engaged with.”