South Tipperary Independent TD, Mattie McGrath, has criticised the Minister for the Environment and the Government for once again causing huge confusion over the water metering and water charges.
“Minister Hogan should become known as the Minister for Confusion because everything he has dealt with has been a complete and utter disaster in terms of causing confusion” said Deputy McGrath.
“While the majority of us accept that Water is a valuable commodity and one that has to be paid for, the debacle over charging for water meters to be installed is ludicrous. The idea of charging households €800 or €40 per year for 20 years for the installation of a meter is totally absurd” said Deputy McGrath
“The Government have now left the public even more confused about whether or not those households already with meters will be charged or whether or not these meters will have to be replaced.” Continued McGrath
“I am seeking immediate clarification on this matter as hardworking Water Services staff in Local Authorities have been installing meters at times of repair with the last number of years and all new households have been charged for the installation of a water meter, preparing for water metering and if these meters are now going to have to be replaced, the time, effort and cost of installing the meters already installed will have been a complete waste.”
Deputy McGrath also expressed concern over the ability of controlling water rates once the responsibility for Water Services have been transferred to Water Ireland.
“While I accept that water must be paid for, I have reservations over how the water rates will be set. Households must be given a “free” allowance that is sufficient for their family size which would encourage household’s to conserve water but if the Government are already speaking of setting large standing charges and with the setting of water rates taken away from Local Government, I fear that rates will increase in similar fashion to electricity prices. The Government must be very firm in this regard. Water is too much of a valuable resource and families cannot be pushed further into financial difficulties by huge water charges,” concluded McGrath.