Friday 20 January 2017

One simple solution to fix the ongoing water charges row

Published 11/03/2016 | 02:30

Anti-water charge protesters at the Dáil yesterday. Picture: Justin Farrelly
Anti-water charge protesters at the Dáil yesterday. Picture: Justin Farrelly

In the populist race to dismantle Irish Water, a simple fix is being overlooked: dismantle Irish Water for the purposes of collecting water charges from individuals, but keep it as the State body briefed with the task of securing safe and efficient water supply and sewerage disposal service for properties in Ireland.

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Next, increase property tax (a tax for the wealthy and privileged) by the amount required to run the water and sewerage service. Make it tax deductible. Then pass on this part of the property tax to Irish Water to run its services.

The amount people are charged could initially be linked to the number of toilets/baths/rooms in the property. Metering for quantity (as with electricity) could come later and landlords could choose to pass this on to their tenants (or not).

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