The Environment Minister Alan Kelly claims he is working hard to come up with a solution which would avoid taking every person who refuses to pay their water charges to court.
It is understood that the Government are planning to introduce a “list system” which avoid a backlog of people being forced to appear in court. It is believed that Mr Kelly is to hold talks with the Attorney General to discuss proposals which would see the State claim the unpaid charges from people’s wages. It is thought that the new system would give judges’ the right to summons a person’s employer to take the unpaid charges from their wages or social welfare payment on a case-to-case basis.
Meanwhile the Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins has given his backing to the decision saying that the Environment Minister is desperate to avoid harsh laws to claim the unpaid charges from the income of hundreds of thousands people. Mr Higgins claims it would be impossible to take 700,000 residents to court.
He said: “The Government will face a mass boycott because people are not fooled. “They know water charges will go towards €1,000 for a family of four or five as soon as the pressure is off. “It is odious to hear Government Deputies trying to set ordinary people in rural Ireland against their urban counterparts. “The reality is that Dingle and Lispole, which I know well, are on the public water system as is Donegal.
“Tens of thousands of people have been on the streets in every corner of rural and urban Ireland.
“The call that resounds is, ‘we won’t pay’.”