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Andy Holt via F
Water Charges

Now you won't be getting your first water bill until the end of January

The deadline for applications has been extended to the end of November.

THE COMMISSION FOR Energy Regulation (CER) announced that it has accepted a proposal by Irish Water to extend the deadline for water charges applications by one month.

Irish Water’s new deadline will be the end of November 2014 and it means the company will issue first bills to households at the end of January 2015. It had been originally planned to start sending people their bills at the start of that month. The CER said the first bills in January will include household and children free allowances provided that people register with Irish Water by the end of November.

In its letter to the CER requesting approval for the extension, Irish Water said it was needed to account for the the leeway given to customers in applying got allowances. Applications for allowances can be backdated up to 60 days from the date of the application.

The company has previously indicated that it would extend the October 31 deadline as it emerged that around one million people had not signed up to pay the controversial charges. It has faced a barrage of criticism, particularly in the last week, with even the Minister with responsibility for Irish Water admitting that its behaviour has not been up to scratch.

The news comes as SIPTU’s national executive called for the government to rethink its system of implementing the regime. The union said payment must be deferred until investment can be put into bringing the water quality to a “reasonable degree of acceptance”.

It also wants public control of the system to be maintained. SIPTU said it believes a refundable tax credit option should be considered, as the current structure impacts on lower and middle income families to a much greater degree.

Despite its clear opposition to the current system, the union’s national executive called on the public to refrain from “all forms of attacks and intimidated of workers” who are installing meters.

“These cannot be condoned or defended in any circumstances,” it said.

Read: Irish Water will consider extending October 31 deadline for applications>
Read: Alan Kelly: ‘John Tierney should be out facing the public and I’ll tell him that’>

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