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Minister Fergus O'Dowd Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Water Charges

Junior Minister: Your water could be cut off if you don't pay charge

Junior Minister Fergus O’Dowd told Midweek on TV3 that if people don’t pay their water charges even though they can afford to, they could get their water cut off.

PEOPLE WHO CAN afford to pay the water charge but don’t pay it could find their water cut off, a government minister said in an interview last night.

Minister Fergus O’Dowd told Colette Fitzpatrick on Midweek on TV3 last night that people who can clearly afford to pay the charge and who are in employment, but who refuse to pay, could get cut off.

He commented:

There’s a difference between people who can’t afford to pay and have difficulty and people who are wealthy and well off who refuse to pay.

Fitzpatrick asked the Minister:  ”Are you saying now tonight that people may possibly be cut off if they don’t pay the water charge?”

To which he replied:

I would say people who can afford to pay, clearly afford to pay, who are in employment and can afford to pay, if they don’t pay up you know they could be in a situation where they could be cut off.

The comments come after opposition TDs criticised the government for not giving enough information to householders about how much they will face in water charges.

The charges are due to be introduced by 2014. Yesterday Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams described water charges as an “unacceptable stealth charge” on households.

On Monday, the government announced the establishment of a new State body called Irish Water which will oversee the delivery of water services in Ireland.

The Irish Examiner reports today that the Association of Combined Residents Associations (ACRA) said that water charges will be forcefully opposed – even more so than the household tax.

Read: Expect your first water bill in 2014, says Phil Hogan>

Read: Opposition TDs criticise govt for keeping people in the dark about water charges>

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