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Water fee pledge was misleading

So now we know that the Government's promise of an average €240 charge for water was misleading.

Yes, water consumers will pay €238 a year overall, but that sum takes into account properties with a single resident and holiday homes.

The reality is that most families will pay more than €240, with those with two children paying €278.

Meanwhile, families with two grown-up children will be hit with an annual bill of at least €483.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton may be correct that the Government never lied about the average cost of charges.

But that will ring hollow to the tens of thousands of already hard-pressed households that have just realised they will be paying more than they thought on the basis of the Government's promise.

It has become almost a cliche to say it, but there is a squeezed middle in this country, and with they higher than expected water charges they are getting squeezed that little bit more.