Water Services (Exempt Charges) Bill 2014: Second Stage (Resumed) [Private Members] (18 Sep 2014)

Water is a right and this water tax is an outrageous attack on families who will be unable to pay it.

The MABS report issued today states that families have a disposable income of €9 per week after bills are paid. Even at this late stage the Government should reverse this charge which will be opposed tooth and nail right across the country. I support the Bill and it is outrageous that the exemption for boil-water notices has come at this late stage.

Contaminated water is being supplied to households and the exemption should apply from day one and not after a period of time of three or six months. Houses in the Burncourt and Skeheenarinky area of south Tipperary, like 20,000 or 30,000 houses all over the country, must be exempt from day one.

Families who are supplied with hard water are being forced to pay over the odds to replace clapped out electric kettles and washing machines and dryers. They have been forced to buy machines to reduce the hardness of the water, costing anything up to €1,000 to install and with ongoing maintenance costs. These machines must be flushed out on a weekly basis which adds to the costs.

There are thousands of such families across the northern area of Clonmel and throughout south Tipperary who should also be exempt from this water charge.

Seamus Healy TD

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