A local councillor is planning to set up a group to protest against water charges after next month’s Local Elections.
Cllr Mark Casey confirmed his plan in the wake of news this week that the average water bill could be in the region of €248 for a family of four when Irish Water starts charging customers next year.
The figure, which was first revealed in an article published in the Irish Independent last Wednesday, April 16, is slightly lower than the previous estimate of €300 a year.
However, Irish Water has proposed charging customers a standing €100 in addition to their water bills, and the Government is waiting on information from Eurostat before confirming the level of subvention the State will provide to the company
“It might be a €100 bill for two people, but for a family with kids it could be up to €400,” said Longford County Councillor Mark Casey (Ind). “The Government is hiding the total cost and people cannot afford another €400 bill.”
The Lanesboro-based councillor continued by questioning wider tax policy now charges such as the Local Property Tax and water charges are being introduced.
“Why is the Universal Social Charge still there if all these charges are being brought in?” he asked.
“The Government has to get its act together. It’s the working class who are being hit.”
Underlining the plan to launch a local protest group, Cllr Casey said: “We’ll be calling a public meeting and if there is enough support, we will set up a protest group.”
Once the level of subvention is confirmed, it will be up to the Commission for Energy Regulations to set the charges.
The free allowance for each customer will be the same in 2015 and 2016, meaning the bills for both years should be roughly the same.
Although no details have been released yet regarding the free allowance, it is expected to be in the region of 82 litres per person per day, with Irish Water’s statistics suggesting the average person uses approximately 150 litres every 24 hours.
Additional allowances would be allocated to people with health problems or special needs.