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“Water water everywhere” And how much are you going to pay?

There have been so many discussions recently regarding water charges, so therefore I had a look at the information available to me and want to share it with you.

As you are aware, water charges are being introduced for homes that are connected to a public water supply. Water meters are being installed at present and Irish Water will administer the charges to households accordingly.

The Government made a number of decisions on 6 May 2014 in relation to water charges and free allowances.

Medical Grounds. In the initial information released, it is proposed that a cap on charges will apply to people with high water usage due to medical conditions.

The Government will issue a direction to Irish Water, following consultation with the HSE on qualifying conditions, which will for example include people using home kidney dialysis. It would be prudent of other disability groups to forward their case and be added to the list of medical conditions.

Further clarity will be provided and a list of medical conditions will be created. A final decision on the level of water charges will be made in August 2014, following public consultation.

Other points of note from the Government press release are;

  • The first bills for domestic water will issue in 2015.

  • Government expect the average annual water charges to be around €240.

  • Free allowance of 30,000 litres of water per household per year.

  • Households to receive an additional free allowance for every child under 18 (consumption is estimated at up to 38,000 litres per child per annum)

  • There is no standing charge for domestic consumers (but a minimum charge may apply to properties which are not permanently occupied)

As soon as I have an update on the relevant information, I will write an updated article for your attention.

This article was prepared by Allan Cuthbert, a Special Needs Trust Planner. If you have a question, feel free to email allan@financialwellbeing.ie or call 021 482 3635. For more information about special needs trust planning, check out www.financialwellbeing.ie