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Why didn't you just bill me, Phil?

Madam -- I have little or no knowledge of the law or legal contracts, but when I am asked to enter into a contract I "stand back" and consider what the legal implications might be.

When Environment Minister Phil Hogan expected me to ask him to initiate a contract/agreement in order that he will be able to take money from me for the purpose of supplying a service to the urban areas of Ireland under the title "Property Tax", I have to wonder if there is a legal reason why he didn't just bill me.

If I have to pay the cost of a water meter and installation, does this then mean that I own the meter? Am I responsible for its maintenance and replacement? If the meter gives a faulty reading, am I responsible? When the water charge comes into effect, have I a right to withhold payment if the water is not to standard or if it is cut off?

Tom Mullins,

Screen, Co Wexford

Sunday Independent