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'Clear decision' to be made on water charges

THE GOVERNMENT would provide certainty relating to household charges and water metering when a memorandum was brought to Cabinet, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil.

“People will know in advance, without further confusion or speculation, what will be involved,” he said.

Mr Kenny said it might happen at next week’s Cabinet meeting or afterwards.

The Taoiseach was replying to Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party, who called for clarity on the charges to be introduced.

“Will the household utility charge be in addition to a property tax, or is it another name for that tax and will it replace it?” he asked.

“Is the household utility charge meant to cover a water charge as a catch-all in the sense that the people can be soaked under whatever brand name is required?”

Mr Higgins said that whether a charge was made under one heading or three, the effect on living standards would be the same.

He predicted that there would be mass opposition to the imposition of charges, with taxpayers openly saying they could not afford them.

It would be a case of “cannot pay, will not pay”, said Mr Higgins.

He asked how the Taoiseach would deal with the growing anger in society in response to people being made scapegoats at his behest to salvage the big European bankers.

Mr Kenny said the memorandum of understanding was clear on the introduction of a site value tax and a charge for water arising from metering.

“The Government will make a clear decision on these two elements of the memorandum of understanding,” he added.

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