Payment for Water Meters is Unfair and Unreasonable17th April 2012
I am calling on the Government to clarify their position on whether the public will be asked to bear the cost of water meters. There have been numerous reports over the last few days that the public will be asked to bear the brunt of some of the costs of installing such meters. It is unclear as of yet as to whether homeowners will have to pay for the cost of the actual unit, the installation of that unit, or both, with conflicting reports in the media.
I believe that the confusion over this matter is causing considerable distress and upset and should be clarified as a matter or priority. We have seen various Government members make conflicting statements over the past number of days. Indeed my office has received numerous queries on this matter from concerned constituents who are anxious to know what they will be asked to pay. With metering due to begin late this year the public have a right to know what costs will be imposed on them as soon as is possible to allow them to put plans in place to deal with such.
The imposition of such a cost would be an additional burden that strained families simply cannot bear
To date we have no concrete details on how much these units would cost homeowners. There have been speculative figures thrown about over the weekend with estimates in the region of €300 per unit. The reality is that irrespective of what the final figure is any cost on the homeowner would be hugely damaging and a further burden on families. In meeting with constituents I have seen first-hand the severe financial pressure countless families are under. These families are struggling to cope and keep their heads above water at this difficult time, these families would be choked by paying for water meters. The fact that water charges are to be introduced is a further threat hanging over their heads and that is without taking into account the possibility of having to pay for the actual unit.
I believe that forcing these families to pay a considerable amount to install a meter that would subsequently result in them paying additional charges would be an insult and would show a complete disregard and lack of understanding for the difficult circumstances many people are in at present. Quite simply many people fear that paying for water will put them in an impossible financial position. The public are growing increasingly frustrated with these charges and costs. I believe that if the Government ask the public to pay for these meters then that may be the final straw.