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what's Expected in revised water charges plan

THe Government is to announce its revised water charges package this afternoon in a bid to quell public anger on the issue, here's what's expected to be included:

l Charging for water won't begin until January and the first bills won't land until April. Originally charging was to have started last month with bills sent out just after Christmas.

l The cap on charges will now be €60 for a one-adult household and €160 for all other households. That's down from €278 a home with two adults.

l These capped figures take account of a €100 payment from the Government to all households.

l Families with meters will be able to bring their bill down more by conserving water.

l Non-payment of bills will result in penalties and surcharges, with the unpaid bills being attached to homes. But there will not be attachment orders to wages, dole or pensions.

l The Government will also bring in legislation to prevent privatisation without the holding of a referendum.

Only 810,000 households had signed up to Irish Water by the start of this month. That's far short of the 1.5 million households the utility aims to service. The deadline for registering with Irish Water was extended to the end of the month.