Why there could be a nationwide revolt by farmers against water meters
Momentum for a nationwide revolt by farmers against water meters is building up, with charges branded as "unjust".
Irish Water has confirmed they are billing farmers off a maze of as many as 500 different rates for meters and water across the country.
Calls have been made for a unified national campaign against the water meter charges after household water bills were scrapped. The Limerick branch of the IFA plans to bring a motion to its National Council to endorse the demand for the dropping of meter charges.
Donal O'Brien, a former member of the IFA National Livestock Committee, has urged farmers to join in a unified national campaign against meter charges as farmers are being "singled out for unjustified charges".
"It is totally unfair that farmers are being charged hundreds of euro per year for meter rent, even if the water is only used for domestic purposes, while there is no charge on other domestic use customers - that is not fair," he said.
"Farmers should pay for any water that is used for farm purposes, but we are not going to pay for meters, which are being levied whether we use water or not. That has to stop now." The ICMSA has branded the regime of water meter charges on farmers as "draconian", with some paying up to €200/yr.
Irish Water confirmed 500 different tariffs apply to businesses following the takeover from the 34 local authorities. A new tariff structure from the Commission for Energy Regulation is expected to take a number of years.