Tánaiste: ‘Deeply problematic’ to take water bill from dole
Tánaiste Joan Burton has told the Labour Party that it would be “deeply problematic” to deduct dole from welfare claimants who are unwilling to pay water charges.
The Social Protection Minister made her comments last night at the private parliamentary party meeting where she answered queries from TDs and Senators about speculated new compliance measures.
She told members she did not know where the proposed measures had emerged from and that it would be very difficult to deduct people’s welfare.
Her comments came as Enda Kenny earlier said most people want to know if their neighbours are paying their Irish Water bills as he revealed sanctions for non-payment will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Mr Kenny’s comments come following an admission by Irish Water that the utility will issue thousands of bills to the wrong houses over the coming months.
He said legislation relating to those who do not pay the charge would come before Cabinet in the coming weeks and then before the Dáil.
A level of fairness in charging was needed, stressed the Taoiseach.
“The majority of people who have signed up as customers of Irish Water and will continue to sign up want to know that their neighbours, including the deputy, will make their contribution to the cost of production of quality Irish water in the coming years,” he said.
“There is a need for compliance and people to understand there will be equality in regard to compliance and that everybody who can pay should and will pay.”