Saturday, 1 September 2012

Leaked EU report: Water charges to kick in from January 2014

IRISH HOUSEHOLDS will see their first charges for metered water usage in January 2014, far ahead of the schedule outlined by environment minister Phil Hogan earlier this year, according to a leaked report from the European Commission.
A formula for deciding how much users will be charged is to be development over the course of 2013, with full charges being implemented from January 1 the following year.
In April, Hogan said he didn’t expect households to start receiving bills for the water charges until “by the end of 2014″ – though it now appears that this has been rushed forward.
The leaked document – a draft edition of the Commission’s staff report following the last inspection of Ireland’s bailout progress in June – says Irish authorities briefed the Brussels inspectors on their strategy for setting up Irish Water, the body which will be responsible for collecting the charges.
The report says a “detailed implementation strategy” presented by the Department of the Environment outlined how legislation setting up Irish Water would be enacted “in the third quarter of this year”.
This suggests that legislation setting up the new body, which will be initially established as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis, will be one of the top items on the agenda when the Dáil reconvenes on September 18, and that the legislation will be pushed through the Oireachtas as a priority.
Hogan had previously said the necessary legislation would not be introduced until some time next year.

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