herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Confusion reigns over water charge deadline extension

John Tierney, Chief Executive of Irish Water
John Tierney, Chief Executive of Irish Water

The Irish Water fiasco continues, with confusion over whether the deadline for registering for water charges will be extended from the end of this month.

It comes as the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) ruled out such a move. However, Irish Water spokesperson Elizabeth Arnett said such a development would be "looked at".

The latest debacle emerged as the semi-state company continued to refuse to reveal the number of people who have signed up.

"No. We are not planning to extend it, but there is a look back for 60 days after the deadline has passed," a CER spokesperson said when asked if an extension was under consideration.

This rule means that individuals who fail to register before the October 31 deadline but do so after will not be charged the default unregistered rate of €424 a year.

Asked if the deadline would be extended, Ms Arnett said: "We might very well do that. We'd have to look at that closer to the time."

Irish Water has sparked fury among the public for its lack of transparency and being criticised by Government TDs for failing to reply to queries.

The utility claimed it was "quite the opposite" when asked at the start of the month by the Herald if the refusal to reveal numbers was due to a shortfall.

The company has continued to stonewall attempts to obtain the figures while also claiming a "very good response".

mystery

Ms Arnett indicated on October 7 that the figures would be available by the end of last week, but the information is still a mystery.

"I will be looking at that and maybe coming out with something on that later this week," she said on RTE radio last week.

The Herald first requested the figures at the beginning of the month.

See page 16

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