Thursday 19 April 2018

Revealed: average family will pay €248 water bills

Free allowance will be wiped out by routine use every morning

Filling glass of water from stainless steel kitchen faucet
Filling glass of water from stainless steel kitchen faucet

Fionnan Sheahan, Paul Melia and John Downing

A family of four will pay €248 in water charges when bills start to arrive next year, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The disclosure for the first time of the annual water bill for a household of two adults and two children is slightly lower than the previously expected cost of €300 a year.

The free allowance to be given to householders will be the same in 2015 and 2016, meaning the bill should be same.

But householders will still pay for every drop of water used beyond the most basic morning routine.

The allowance will be a mixture of an allocation per basic household and an additional allocation per child.

The Government is planning to claim children will get their water for free.

It estimates the average cost per home across the country will be €240.

For a family of two adults and two children – which is slightly larger than the normal household – this works out at €248.

The government subsidy for Irish Water will be €537m per annum.

Without the subvention being this large, the average household cost would be €580 a year. The subvention will be used to cover a free allowance for the household, plus additional allowances per child.

Following a public backlash, the Government has rejected Irish Water's demands for a large standing charge of up to €100 a year.

The standing charge will now be €50 a year – €12.50 per quarterly bill.

The details of the charging will be discussed by the Government today.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had promised householders will know the rough estimate of the bills before the local and European elections.

But the free allowance of water is expected to only cover a shower, brushing your teeth and two toilet flushes for just one person.

Irish Independent

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