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Water Charges

Homeowners will have to pay for their own water meters

The cost of water meters will be passed onto consumers, the Government has revealed.

THE COST OF water meters and their installation will be passed on to Irish households, it has been revealed this morning.

The Department of the Environment has said that its plans are in line with how other utilities are funded across the world.

A spokesperson for the department told that the figure of €300 quoted in today’s Sunday Times is “pure speculation”.

The Department has prepared detailed cost estimates on meters following extensive market soundings. It would be inappropriate for us to release these estimates in advance of a competitive procurement process.

She added that the cost of installing an individual meter will vary, depending on location of the property.

Speaking on This Week on RTÉ One, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that no decision has been made on the arrangements for water meters, adding that the amount of money charged for installation has not been confirmed.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson for the environment Niall Collins told that the water meter installation charge will be just another instalment of “broken promises and deceit” from the current government.

He said the charge imposed will be part of its “new schedule of stealth and back door taxes on the country”.

The regulator, which will be established in the coming months will determine the cost of the service, the free allowance and the framework for levying the charges.

The Government will consult with the regulator and a new State body known as Irish Water before the introduction of charges in 2013.

Earlier this year, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that nine out of ten households in Ireland will be liable for the new fees by 2014. Irish Water will take over responsibility of the delivery of water services from 34 local authorities. It will also be in charge of installing the meters in over one million homes.

About 2,000 jobs for plumbers and others in the construction industry are expected to be created.

The OECD has previously criticised Ireland for its failure to charge on the basis of usage, stating that there was zero incentive to save water and minimise waste.

However, a campaign against the water charges has been set up as some opponents believe the move is not about what is good for the environment but is more about raising revenue.

Hogan says 90 per cent of all households face water charges by 2014>

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