Limerick Households with Undrinkable Water may Face Full Charges

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Photo credit: Limerick Post.

Article courtesy of Alan Jacques | October 20, 2014 | Limerick Post | Shared as educational material

LIMERICK householders with contaminated water supplies caused by lead pipes may still have to pay the full water charge, it was revealed at a meeting between councillors and Irish Water this week.

The Government recently announced that households with undrinkable water will receive a reduction in the Water tax, but according to Sinn Féin councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh there is a lot more than meets the eye in this statement.

Following a meeting with Irish Water this week, he said it is now clear that we have to read the fine print when it comes to government announcements.

The City East councillor explained, “This reduction will not be based on the EU law which outlines the limit for lead in the water which determines whether or not it is fit for human consumption. Instead it will be a judgement call made by the HSE, which means that households with levels of lead over the EU limit may have to pay the water tax without any reductions for contamination.”
He said that councillors were told that people’s credit rating will be affected by non-payment of the charge, and that their water supply will be reduced to a trickle if they do not pay.
“Now they are saying that these measures will also be put into place for households who refuse to pay for their contaminated water. This is a further insult to people who have been once again targeted in this year’s budget. The fact that so many people in Limerick can’t drink their water and yet they may be charged in full for this water, is another blow to the credibility of this government and Irish Water,” he added.

Meanwhile Sinn Féin’s party leader on the merged Limerick City and County Council, Cllr Maurice Quinlivan, described the retention of water charges in this week’s budget as a “missed opportunity”. Cllr Quinlivan insists that water charges need to be stopped and said the budget shows that the Government is “out of touch”.

A protest is being organised in Limerick for Saturday October 25 by the Anti Austerity Alliance’s ‘We Won’t Pay!’ campaign. AAA councillor Cian Prendiville said he expects a huge turnout for the march which starts from City Hall at 2pm.

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