Irish Households to pay a bill for Domestic Water in 2014

According to the Irish Independent yesterday, the average Irish household will face an extra bill next year for the new water charge of €370 approximately.  Charging this bill in the same year that we will be hit with a full year Property Tax will possibly be the straw that breaks the camels back for most households.

It is expected that a metered system will not be in place until 2016 so we may receive a billed for a flat rate assessed system based on average use.  This means that although we may educate our children – at home and in our schools – to be water aware and about conserving water, there will be no rewards for the householders who are mindful of their water use and do not waste water.  The intention is to give each household an annual allowance of water, free, which apparently will cover basic needs such as sanitation and thereafter any other use will be charged.  The amount of free water we get on each bill will be a decision for the independent regulator, the Commission for Energy Regulation.

In 1994, when water charges were introduced on a flat rate basis, a huge campaign against them resulted in abolition of them 2 years later.  This time round it is unlikely that there will be disconnections for non-payment of your water bill but you may suffer a reduction in water pressure which could mean that your washing machine or dishwasher will be out of action.  You may also have an unpaid bill registered against your property if you decide not to pay.

It is becoming more and more difficult for most Irish householders to make ends meet.  Our basic requirements are costing more money and we new bills and the new taxes to pay where are reaching the end of the road for affordability.  You cannot tax a country out of recession.