#GE16: Is This The End of the Line For Water Charges? 6 years ago

#GE16: Is This The End of the Line For Water Charges?

Hundreds of householders are expected to stop paying their water bills as a result of the recent political upheaval.

As Irish Water send texts to customers warning that late payment (of 12 months or more) can result in a €60 fine, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has described the abolition of water charges as a 'red line' issue if Fianna Gael are to remain in minority power.

A total of 745,000 households paid their Irish Water Bill during the second billing cycle. Unfortunately however, it doesn't look likely we'll ever get any of the money paid to Irish Water back. The party's environment spokesman Barry Cowen confirmed to the Irish Independent that while an ending to charging was an "imperative" for his party, Fianna Fáil would not seek to give refunds.

"We can't change the law retrospectively, as much as we'd wish. We were not in government so we couldn't stop this fiasco, as much as we tried," he said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, outgoing Agriculture and Defence Minister Simon Coveney said Fianna Gael was “willing to talk about water, it’s a big issue for people”.

Other Fianna Fáil demands include the introduction of a €2,000 childcare tax credit in October's budget and a suite of new supports for rural Ireland.