Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has today (Monday) said that by paying the €100 water conservation grant to those who do not intend on paying their water bill is as good as putting money down the drain.
The Ratoath based TD said “it is plain and simple wrong to pay the €100 water conservation grant to registered Irish Water customers who never intend on paying for their water services.
“There are 3 types of people with regard to Irish Water registered customers, 1) those who are happy to pay for water, 2) those who are dissatisfied with the manner in which Irish Water was set up but intend on paying for water, and, 3) those who have no intention to pay for water, ever!
“The fact of the matter is that there exists a group of people registered with Irish Water who will never pay their bill, grant or no grant, and issuing the conservation grant to these people is completely illogical and well and truly money down the drain.
“I am urging the Minister for the Environment, the Minister for Finance, whomever, to stand up for our families and business owners who have and will pay their water bills, and abstain from releasing the €100 grant to those who have not yet, and will not pay.
It goes without saying that a fair share of mistakes were made in the setting up of Irish Water. Despite these mistakes, our first temperature reading for payment compliance was 44% and the first billing cycle saw 46% of projected revenue collected.
“Many, including the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, have been ridiculed for stating that this is a solid start, and a solid start it is. However, in paying those who are non-compliant, and particularly those who never ever intend on paying their water bill, Minister Kelly is now turning his back on the 44% who have paid their bills so far.”
Doherty continued “With the joint efforts of Irish Water, the Department of Social Protection etc., the compliance rate will continue to rise with regard to the number of people paying their bills. It is my view that only on the payment of a bill should the €100 grant be paid to a household or customer. No payment, no grant!
In conclusion Doherty said, “Tens of thousands of boil water notices were lifted right across the country just last week, some of which have been on boil water notices since 2009. These improvements were not possible before Irish Water.
“We need investment in our national infrastructure; there is no debate in that regard. We must now do the right thing; next year is too late for the appropriate changes to be made to the payment of the €100 water grant. I call on our Ministers to now step up to the mark and do not turn their backs on the people of Meath and the people of Ireland.”