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What will anti-water charges TDs do if boycotters are brought to court?

Irish Water says it does not envisage bringing people to court, but what would the likes of Paul Murphy do if the company did?

AS PART OF the changes to water charges announced by the government on Wednesday, households who fail to register with Irish Water or pay their bills will face financial penalties.

Those who do not register with Irish Water will receive an automatic €260 bill and will not qualify for the €100 rebate known as the ‘water conservation payment’.

Households will also face late payment penalites of €30 for a single adult household and €60 for other households. These will be added to bills three months following a year of non-payment. The fines will continue to be added for every year of non-payment.

But could Irish Water bring people to court if they simply don’t pay? The prospect was not ruled out when Environment Minister Alan Kelly was asked during the week:

But Irish Water boss John Tierney said on Thursday that legislative changes would see the outstanding charges attached to a person’s house – preventing them from selling it until the bill is paid.

This would “eliminate the necessity to go to the courts”, Tierney said.

So while he does not envisage that Irish Water will go to the courts to force people to pay it has not been entirely ruled out. After all, the legislation setting up the utility provides for such action if necessary.

If it happens what sort of support will be on offer to people who are boycotting the charges and are part of the non-payment campaign mounted by the Socialist Party and others?

We asked Socialist TD Paul Murphy that very question when we interviewed him earlier this week. Here’s what he said:

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Camera and editing: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Read: Does Paul Murphy think he’s too posh to represent working people?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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