Minister must ensure Group Water Schemes are not left behind – Brendan Smith

Published on: 06 December 2017

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government to ensure that a fair system is put in place for people on group water schemes to ensure they are not penalised by high water charges.

Deputy Smith was commenting following correspondence from Minister Eoghan Murphy, who informed him that a review into supports for rural water community groups is due to be concluded shortly.

“As part of the Confidence and Supply arrangement Fianna Fáil secured an immediate increase in the subsidy levels paid to group water schemes which had been reduced by the previous Government”, explained Deputy Smith.

“Group water schemes play an important role in rural communities across Cavan and Monaghan, and in many cases they provide the main water supply for villages and small towns across the two counties.  One of Fianna Fáil’s key objectives in our approach to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services was to ensure that people on group water schemes and private water sources were treated equitably in comparison with households on the public mains.

“Minister Murphy confirmed that his Department is “currently in discussions with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes, the representative body for the group water sector, on the future subsidy levels for group water schemes.  I expect this review to be concluded shortly in order to allow for any subsidy changes to be introduced from 1 January 2018”.

“This information will feed into future budgetary considerations to ensure that whether a home is in the city or the countryside they will receive an equal level of financial support towards their water.

“I welcome the fact that this review appears to be progressing well and I hope that the subsidy changes will ensure that people on group water schemes are no longer being penalised with high charges”.

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