Any plans for restaurants to start charging for glasses and jugs of tap water en masse have the potential to significantly impact the hospitality sector and will sour relations with regular customers, that’s according to Kerry election candidate Norma Moriarty.

Councillor Moriarty said: “This suggestion will be met with frustration by a lot of the public.  Businesses have be paying water rates for years and presumably have factored this in in their pricing for customers.  For restaurants, hotels and other operators in the hospitality sector across the country to now start charging for tap water would be a slap in the face to customers.

“I note the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said this is a possibility because they feel there is an imminent increase in water charges on the way for businesses from Irish Water.  This is an outrageous prospect.  Businesses are only getting back on their feet and are starting to increase employment opportunities in many communities.  Hitting them with new charges and forcing them to absorb them or pass them on to customers in order to prop up their failed entity that is Irish Water flies in the face of common sense.

“Businesses need some space to allow them to grow and create more jobs.  They don’t need water charges to be jacked up and they certainly don’t need to be passing on new charges their customers haven’t had to pay before now.

“The Government needs to establish very quickly if there’s any truth to the speculation that water charges are about to increased.  And if there is to stop it in its tracks.”