Houses and apartments connected to public sewerage schemes could soon be charged for waste water services on top of water charges, it has emerged.


Responding to questions from Fianna Fáil’s Environment Spokesperson Niall Collins in the Dáil today (03 May 2012), the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan refused to rule out double rates for urban dwellers in the form of waste water charges and water charges.


Speaking afterwards, Deputy Collins commented, “As if household charges, water meter charges, charges for water use and property taxes were not enough, Minister Hogan has now slipped in the prospect of forcing an entirely new charge on urban dwellers and those attached to public sewerage schemes.


“This essentially means that the ‘water in water out’ principle that currently applies to businesses may soon also be imposed on homeowners. I gave Minister Hogan ample opportunity in the Dáil to clear and rule out the possibility of this new charge on urban households, but he refused to do so.


“After the series of recent gaffes from Minister Hogan, I expected a fast and comprehensive answer to my question about wastewater charges. I was shocked when he refused to rule it out.  


“It is more than two weeks since the Government published its plan on water services reform and households still have no idea about the extra charges they will soon have to pay. As Minister Hogan still seems unable to provide them with any real answers, his only defence is to resort to cheap slurs when the questions get too tough.


“In response to valid questions, Minister Hogan thought it appropriate to claim that those who support my party have no interest in clean water.  This is simply not good enough and the Minister will not get away with it. It’s time for Phil Hogan to stop dodging questions in an attempt to divert attention from his failure to deliver, and start addressing the real concerns of every single household across the country.”