Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment, Barry Cowen TD, has called on the Minister for Environment to immediately clarify which medical conditions will qualify people for discounts on Irish Water Charges.

Deputy Cowen said that former Minister Hogan said months ago he was going to meet with the Minister for Health to consult on this issue.

He commented: “I am calling on Minister Alan Kelly to immediately clarify which medical conditions will qualify people for discounts on Irish Water bills. There is an understandable degree of worry and confusion within families and households regarding this. Some people may not know that their illness or disease could qualify them for a discount, resulting in higher water charges if they don’t notify Irish Water.

“People are due to begin paying for their water in less than two weeks. It is not acceptable to have a situation where no one seems to know which medical conditions will qualify people for an extra allowance. The CER doesn’t know, Irish Water doesn’t know and the Minister doesn’t know. I would have thought that having spent €86 million on consultancy fees, Irish Water could have consulted about which medical conditions result in more water usage.

“This Fine Gael /Labour government promised to meet the Minister for Health to consult on which medical conditions demand extra water usage. Minster Kelly needs to confirm that this meeting took place and he also needs to explain the outcome.

“This is no time for Government silence and indifference. Minister Kelly needs to clarify this immediately so families know in advance the exact water allowances they will be entitled to.”