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Saturday 24 February 2018

Tanaiste: 'Low incomes families to receive €100 per year for water charges'

Tanaiste Joan Burton
Tanaiste Joan Burton

Daniel McConnell Group Political Correspondent

Low income families, people over 70 and carers will receive €100 a year from the State to offset the cost of water, Tanaiste Joan Burton has revealed.

Speaking at an event at Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, Ms Burton said she brought a memo to Cabinet this morning on the matter and it was agreed.

"I brought a memo myself today 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, people who are disability."

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

"This will help people meet the costs of water and will extend to all families in receipt of the household benefit package. Together with the free allowance that people will get it will go a long way to mitigate the cost of water to such houses.

It will cost in total €44 million a year and will commence payment for the first quarter next January.

The charging of water was a major flashpoint between the Coalition parties ahead of the elections in May. Against the wishes of Irish Water, the Government scrapped a proposed €50 standing charge.

Ms Burton also confirmed that the level of adjustment in October's Budget was discussed at Cabinet this morning, but would not be drawn on the amount of savings that will be required.

She said that the Government reaffirmed its commitment to reach the 3 per cent debt target of GDP, and was speaking after Fianna Fáil said the adjustment could possibly be under €1bn, half the amount of the previously stated target of €2bn.

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