herald

Friday 9 December 2016

156,000 householders receive their €100 grant

WATER WORKS: The Minister of Environment, Alan Kelly, left and John Tierney, managing director of Irish Water
WATER WORKS: The Minister of Environment, Alan Kelly, left and John Tierney, managing director of Irish Water

Thousands of householders have received the first €100 water conservation grant payments.

The Department of Social Protection has paid out to 156,249 people today.

The grant is available to those who register with Irish Water.

Those who opted to get the grant via electronic transfer are receiving the cash today

for the first time. The total value of water conservation grant payments made is €15,624,900.

Bill payers must apply online by October 8 at www.watergrant.ie in order to be eligible.

Anybody who registered with Irish Water is eligible for the €100 payment, regardless of whether they’ve paid their bill.

Meanwhile, the number of homes paying their water bills has now passed the half way mark.

A total of 51pc of those registered with Irish Water are now paying their bills – up from 43pc when initial results were released earlier this summer.

Billing

The figures for water usage over April, May and June mean 100,000 more homes paid their bills than had

done so for the first three months of billing, according to the utility.

Separately the OECD has recommended that Ireland raise water charges to encourage the economic recovery.

The Paris-based think tank also said more must be done to increase investment in water quality, as quality fails EPA standards in some areas.

The organisation is forecasting growth here of 5pc this year and 4pc next year.

Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, said Ireland is likely to be the fastest-growing economy in the OECD this year for the second year in a row.

“Ireland is the ‘comeback kid’ of Europe’s crisis-hit economies and much of the credit for this strong recovery goes to the Government’s steadfast commitment to reform,” he said.

 “To avoid repeating mistakes of the past, now is the time to build resilience against future nasty surprises while ensuring the recovery is sustained.”

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