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The Results Are In, 43% Have Paid Irish Water

Irish water

The Results Are In, 43% Have Paid Irish Water

Despite criticism from the media, Irish Water have claimed that their payment rate of 43% as a “decent start”.  They are expected to collect about €271 million from domestic customers and €229 million from non-domestic customers this year.  The organisation has already collected €30 million from customers.  Irish Water has enough money for projects at the moment but they need to spend another €600 million a year to improve their network.  Banks have lent them millions, which they have only paid  half o back.  Irish Water expects to get another 1.5 million customers over the year.  They claim that almost 700,000 people have paid them, or just 43%.

Although 1.35 million people have registered with Irish Water, not all of them have paid them.  They can get their €100 water conservation which is due in autumn.  The Government may also bring in controversial new legislation called the ‘Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill’ which will enable Irish Water to receive unpaid debts between €500 and €4000.  Elizabeth Arnett, Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs with Irish Water, said “675,000 households are now paying water charges, meaning that nearly two million people are living in homes that pay for water services supported by Irish Water.”

She stated that they are still receiving money for the first water bills.  She added that this payment rate is “broadly in line with what would be expected for a new utility sending out a new bill for the first time.  This represents a solid start for Irish Water”.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said the amount was a “good solid start”.  The Commission for Energy Relation (CER) expects Irish Water to collect about €899 million in Revenue for 2015.  This includes the Government subvention, this figure stands at €399 million.  If the person fails to pay their bill that year, the maximum penalty for non-payment per person is €30.  However Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy advised that people who had already paid their first water bill, not to pay anymore bills.  He said to “stop throwing good money after bad. “It’s clear we can win this so don’t pay more money for these water charges. There are no more big sticks coming down the line. “Don’t spend €65 on another bill. Join the boycott. Don’t pay.”

Brian Stanley, Sinn Fein Spokesman for the Environment said, “That threat has failed, and many people do not regard the legislative changes as sufficient to force them to comply. It is also the case that more and more people are of the belief that the next general election will lead to the defeat of the Government, the abolition of water charges, and a restructuring of the water services to repair the damage done by Irish Water.”

Social Democrats member Róisín Shortall said she hasn’t paid her water charges, and she is not going to pay it.  She said that she feels that water is paid through our taxes.  Although she does think that they should introduce a basic water allowance, and if people use excess water, that they should be charged for this overuse.

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