FROM EARLY 2012 some homes in Ireland will be fitted with water meters as a means for people to pay for the water they use. The roll out of the scheme is part of a three year project to install the meters in more than one million homes.
Water charges are part of the bailout deal struck with the EU and the IMF. Earlier this month it was announced that fitting the metres would not happen as quickly as planned, and that a flat rate water charge of around €175 would be landed on householders.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan has defended the introduction of an “interim household utility charge“, which he says will go into the pockets of local councils for the provision of local services. The Minister has denied that the utility is the flat rate water charge by another name. The issue is creating a division between Fine Gael and Labour, with some Labour TDs calling it a u-turn on the programme for governement.
RTE reports that the results of an examination on a new national water company will be presented in October, followed by the establishment of the company.