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Here's how much money local authorities have given to Irish Water

The running of water services is being transferred from councils to Irish Water.

Image: Leaking pipe/Shutterstock

LOCAL AUTHORITIES HAVE given €424.5 million to Irish Water to date. A further €14.5 million is expected to be paid to the utility this month.

In 2014 the Local Government Fund’s (LGF) budget provided for funding of €486.5 million to Irish Water for water-related expenditure previously incurred by local authorities.

The majority of operational expenditure at the semi-state company has been taken from the LGF, which historically provided councils with finance for funding some of their day-to-day activities, including elements of water services costs.

€121.5 million was paid to Irish Water by 11 March, with this increasing to €424.5 million to date.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly revealed the figures in the Dáil recently, in response to a parliamentary question asked by Independent TD Catherine Murphy.

LGF Irish Water Source:

Kelly said the remaining €47.5 million allocated is being paid directly to local authorities in respect of water-related loan recoupment costs.

Prior to this year, capital funding for public water services was provided from the Department of the Environment’s Water Services Investment Programme and Rural Water Programme.

Kelly said that, a result of the introduction of Local Property Tax in 2013 and the establishment of Irish Water, the local government funding model has changed considerably in 2014.

The minister added that it is believed the subvention to Irish Water in 2015 will be about€399 million.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Kelly said the budget for Irish Water paying commercial rates next year is €59 million. He stressed that local authorities would not lose any money in this regard.

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The minister defended the fact that the water metering programme was underestimated by €107 million: up from €431.6 million to €539 million. He said this was because the estimation was based on non-domestic examples and so “wasn’t comparing apples with apples, or oranges with oranges”.

When Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy asked if council tenants could be evicted for not paying the charge, Kelly said he didn’t “envisage” this happening.

Murphy told Kelly the Government’s revised water charges package would not be enough to quell public anger on the issue.

“Threats aren’t going to work, the baby carrot won’t work. Your water charges will be defeated,” Murphy stated.

Here’s how many people have signed up to pay water charges

‘We won’t pay’: Protesters gather outside Irish Water HQ

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Órla Ryan

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