Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Michael P. Kitt has called on the Environment Minister to clarify whether members of Group Water Schemes will have to pay water charges under the new charging regime announced by the Government last week.

Deputy Kitt commented, “There is still a degree of uncertainty about whether members of Group Water Schemes will be customers of Irish Water, and will therefore be liable for charges or reliefs under the new utility.  In reply to a Parliamentary Question I put to Minister Kelly, he stated that “there may be some Group Schemes where local arrangements may have applied: the future arrangements in relation to these schemes will be resolved as soon as possible”.

“Hundreds of people across east Galway are members of a Group Water Schemes and unsure if they are liable for charges, or are due money back as a result of the new charging structure.  The Minister’s answer is ambiguous at best and only serves to push out the date for fixed arrangements to be put in place.

“Minister Kelly has put no deadline in place to have these arrangements implemented, causing further uncertainty for Group Water Scheme members.  He needs to clarify the situation regarding standing charges, existing charges and future arrangements for Group Water Schemes.  I would urge the Minister to outline the situation without delay so that people will know what their responsibilities are sooner, rather than later”.