Wednesday 22 October 2014

Carers and over 70s get €100 to cover water charge

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

Tanaiste Joan Burton
Tanaiste Joan Burton

Low-income families, people over 70 and carers will receive €100 a year in social welfare payments to offset the cost of water charges.

Tanaiste Joan Burton confirmed the €100 subsidy for almost half-a-million vulnerable people was approved by the Government after she brought a memo to Cabinet.

Four quarterly payments of €25 will be made to such families and in conjunction with the free allowance for children they should 'mitigate' the costs of having to pay for water, Ms Burton said.

Water charges are due to come into effect in October with the first bills dropping in January. The average household is expected to pay €240 a year in water charges.

Ms Burton said: "I brought a memo (to Cabinet) for a payment of €100 for those on the household benefits package which will cover over 415,000 households."

People over 70, people who act as carers and people who have a disability will also benefit.

"This will help people meet the costs of water and will extend to all families in receipt of the household benefit package," Ms Burton added.

"Together with the free allowance that people will get, it will go a long way to mitigate the cost of water."

The additional social welfare payment will cost €44m a year and payments will start for the first quarter next January.

Water charges were a major flashpoint between the coalition parties ahead of the local and European elections in May.

Against the wishes of Irish Water, the Government scrapped a proposed €50 standing charge.

Irish Independent

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