Fianna Fáil has launched a website highlighting a number of case studies where households will be forced to pay far in excess of the Government’s ‘average’ water charge.
It blows the whistle on the Government’s spin that families will be charged €240 a year for their water.
Based on the CSO’s figures on average water usage, www.irishwatercharges.com calculates that a family of five will face annual water charges of over €436 a year for basic water use. A four-person household, where all residents are over 18, faces annual water charges of over €491 a year. A one-parent family with two children will pay more than €250 a year. It’s only a two-person household with modest use of water that will pay less than the Government’s ‘average’ charge at approximately €205 a year.
“Fianna Fáil’s Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen commented, “This shows just how disingenuous the Government has been about the real cost of water for families across the country.
“Fine Gael and Labour have not been honest with householders. It’s very clear, based on CSO figures on water usage, that any household with more than 2 adults will pay far in excess of the Government’s declared annual charge.
“This Government’s insistence on setting up the gold-plated super quango Irish Water has significantly driven up the cost of water for households across the country. Irish Water has already spent €180 million of taxpayers’ money on outside consultants. Its entire focus has been on recruiting 500 staff with generous perks and bonuses and setting up a structure to charge people. Meanwhile not one leaky pipe has been fixed and no improvements have been made to water quality. And local authorities will continue to deliver the water service for the next 20 years.
“Only a quarter of all households will be fitted with meters by the end of this year. It means that contrary to all the Government’s promises, the vast majority of households will be hit with flat rate charges next year. In addition, those who cannot afford to pay their water bills on time risk losing their free allowance altogether and having their water pressure reduced significantly.
“The extent of the Government’s dishonesty on water charges is becoming clear. With just 5 months to go until households begin to rack up this additional charge, it’s time for the Government to come clean on exactly what people will be forced to pay.”