Water Charges in Ireland – Some Background Information
Domestic water charges start in Ireland from 1st January 2015 (Originally planned for October 2014) . The first bills are due to be sent out in April 2015 2015.
A new state owned utility company called Irish Water is going to be responsible for installing waters meters and billing.
Background to Water Charging
The introduction of Water Charges has been on the cards for a few years now. Ireland is the only OECD country which does not currently charge households directly for water usage. The Commission on Taxation recommended introduction of water charges back in 2009 and water charges were promised by the Fianna Fail / Green Party government in their 2010 “Four Year Recovery Plan” – (along with a property tax).
The IMF are also very keen on the introduction of water charges – it was one of the items in the Memorandum of Understanding that accompanied the bailout.
The EU are also chasing Ireland to implement charging for water because of the Water Framework Directive . This EU directive required Member States to ensure, by 2010, that “water-pricing policies provide adequate incentives to use water resources efficiently and to recover the true costs of water services in an equitable manner“
(We are a bit late !)
So Water Charging and metering are being introduced because of EU regulations – that is the main reason for charging for water & wastewater services. If it isn’t done the EU could take legal action against Ireland.
Legal action has already been threatened against Germany – see Here