Thursday 27 October 2016

Irish Water claims that over 60pc are now paying charges

Anti-charges TD Paul Murphy
Anti-charges TD Paul Murphy

More than 60pc of all households are now paying their Irish Water bill, the company has claimed.

New figures show that some €110m was collected in water charges for the first nine months of billing, with 61pc of customers now paying their bills. This compares with 44pc after the first three months of billing, and 55pc after six.

Some 928,000 people have now paid part or all of their bills, with 98,000 paying the charge for the first time in the last three months.

The company said that the money would help fund works totalling €522m across the network this year.

"Total revenue from charges paid to date by domestic customers is €110.8m," Irish Water said in a statement.

"Revenue received during the third billing cycle was €42.3m, an increase from €38m in the second billing cycle and €30.5m in the first billing cycle.

"Overall, payment levels from bill cycle three therefore show both an increasing number of customers now paying water charges, and increased revenue received to help fund the repair and improvement of water services."


However, anti-water charge TD Paul Murphy said the figures did not confirm that 61pc were paying.

"In fact, the figures they provide confirm nothing of the sort," he said.

"They simply provide the figure that 928,000 people have paid at least some of their bill. That figure is utterly worthless - because it includes those who paid the first bill and then joined non-payment, and those who paid the first and second bill and then joined non-payment.

"While Irish Water claims that 98,000 people paid bills for the first time in the third billing period, they don't tell us how many who had previously paid stopped paying? Therefore, we simply don't know whether the number who paid the third bill increased or decreased, or what percentage paid," he added.

He said that people continued to boycott the charging system, and the strength of opposition meant that "huge pressure" would be exerted on the next government to abolish bills.

Right2Water protests are scheduled for January 23.

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