Irish Water and the water charges mega-fiasco must rank as the biggest own goal ever scored by any Government.
Enda Kenny and co. have blithely dug a collective grave big enough for the whole coalition plus a few guests.
Here’s the facts, as they stand today:
As announced yesterday, one adult households will pay €60. All other households, €160, irrespective of the number of adults. These two figures include a €100 rebate from the Department of Social Welfare. Households will only receive this rebate IF they register with Irish Water.
These capped charges will remain in effect until January 1, 2019. Beyond that date, it’s anyone’s guess.
Households with a water supply only, or sewage service only, will pay 50% of the capped charges.
Metered households whose usage is less than the capped charge will only pay what they use.
The first bills will now arrive through the post on April 01, 2015 (April Fool’s day, incidentally)
Irish Water will no longer collect your PPS number. Any numbers already collected will be deleted.
If you are a tenant, you, and not the landlord, are liable for the charges.
The registration deadline with Irish Water has been pushed back to February 2, 2015.
Here’s the good bits; What if I don’t pay the bill?
If you rebel and forego the registration, you will not receive the €100 (in four installments of €25), and you will get an automatic bill for €260. If you do not pay the bill, there will be late – payment surcharges: €30 for one adult households and €60 for the rest, after a year of nonpayment.
Unpaid fees will be attached to the property, which means that you will not be able to sell the house until the bill is discharged.
Water pressure will not be touched.
There will be no call out charge if there is a problem with the supply. InternaI leaks will have to be dealt with by plumbers, as usual.
And finally, the Government is planning to introduce legislation to prevent the privatization of Irish Water.
So there you have it. The Government have spoken, but their words are falling on deaf ears.