Fianna Fáil has accused Irish Water of making a mockery of the concept of a free water allowance by seeking a €100 standing charge from every household before they even use any water.
The party’s Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen has demanded clarity from the Environment Minister Phil Hogan.
“Over the past two years the Government has made several promises to households that they would receive a free allowance of water to cover basic usage. It now looks like this will be added to the ever-growing list of broken promises from Fine Gael and Labour,” said Deputy Cowen.
“Far from receiving a free water allowance as promised, we are now told that Irish Water wants to force every single household to pay €100 before they even turn on their taps. They will then clock up water charges of several hundred euro on top of that.
“We need to hear from the Environment Minister Phil Hogan now. Minister Hogan set up this bonus driven super quango, and he has ultimate control over its budget and its remit. He has spent the last few months dodging every single question about how much households will have to pay for their water. It’s becoming glaringly obvious that the Government is doing everything it can to avoid coming clean about this issue ahead of the local and European elections in a cynical attempt to salvage as many votes as possible.
“It’s time for Minister Hogan and his Fine Gael and Labour colleagues to start putting people before politics, and provide some clarity to households about the charges that will kick in in less than 6 months’ time. This kite-flying must stop. All aspects of the charging structure must be published without further delay.
“I am calling on the Government to honour its commitment to providing households with a free water allowance, instead of forcing them to pay a hefty charge before they even turn on their taps.”