Limerick TD says water charges 'no longer viable' after 45% drop

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Limerick TD says water charges 'no longer viable' after 45% drop

Limerick TD Maurice Quinlivan

SINN Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has said that domestic water charges “are no longer viable”, following recently released figures that show a 45% drop in water charge payment rates.

In response to this week’s figures released by Irish Water, Deputy Quinlivan said: “In the latest billing cycle, Irish Water has only managed to collect 27% of charges due. Irish Water really don’t like to release payment figures but figures today revealed another dramatic drop in the number of people paying water charges in the fifth billing quarter.

“People have simply stopped paying. The company only collected €18.3m in revenue for water services used in the months January to March 2016. This is a 45% drop on the previous billing quarter.”

The 45% decrease in payments relates to Irish Water bills sent out to households in April and May. 

The Government recently announced plans to suspend charges for nine months and to set up an expert commission to look at the funding model for domestic water services.

 He said that it would be “really interesting” to see how many of those now not paying took that decision after the general election. 

“These massive slumps in payment rates show clearly that water charges have no future and people will not pay them.”

He added: “Unfortunately the government and Fianna Fáil are still only advocating for a temporary suspension of the charges, it appears they are not listening to the people.

“With the focus soon to turn to the work of the so called expert commission on water, the government must abandon the delay tactics they cooked up with Fianna Fáil, and legislate directly for the abolition of domestic water charges.”

Irish Water figures show that around 989,000 customers have paid bills in the first five bills.