Wednesday 21 March 2018

Refund of water bills is an issue that can't be flushed

WHEN the dam burst in the Irish Water controversy, common sense seemed to be the first thing swept away. But yesterday's proposal by Labour Party chairman Willie Penrose to put forward a Bill to refund those compliant customers who paid their charges would see an element of reason and justice restored to this sorriest of sagas.

Something has gone badly wrong when those who complied with the law are actually the ones left with a sense that they have been well and truly mugged - while those who took to the streets and refused to pay were rewarded. There is more than a grain of truth in the charge levelled by former minister Alan Kelly that environmental treason has been committed in abolishing water charges.

The current policy of kicking the water can down the road by locking it into a series of committees will stall facing up to inevitable consequences. But the issue of dealing with the majority of those liable - and who actually met their responsibilities - cannot be so easily delayed.

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