Legislation on water charges will be ready within six weeks

Highly ambiguous section of the Oireachtas Water Committee's final report leaves plenty of room for Minister Coveney to be creative on charging and allowances.

Highly ambiguous section of the Oireachtas Water Committee's final report leaves plenty of room for Minister Coveney to be creative on charging and allowances.

Extract from Irish Times article April 27 2017

Legislation to abolish domestic water charges will be ready within six weeks, but details of refunds will not be outlined at that point.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said his department was preparing the draft heads of a Bill to implement the recommendations made by the Oireachtas committee on water.

However, he confirmed the method of repaying the hundreds of thousands of people would not be finalised for some time.

The Minister said this was not a decision solely for him but required the support and advice of the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe.

The finer details of the legislation are expected to reignite the argument between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

The Oireachtas committee has proposed a levy for householders who excessively use water. However the size of the fine and the method of collecting such monies has yet to be agreed between the two parties.

Mr Coveney said: “It will take us another six weeks or so, but certainly before the summer break I would like to be able to bring forward legislation that puts into place what has been agreed in principle anyway in the Oireachtas committee on water so we can turn that policy agreement into legislation. But it does take time to get right.”

Source: Irish Times April 27 2017