Irish Water is set to demand the personal details, including bank account and PPS numbers, of households throughout County Galway in September.
The highly controversial body, set up to administer the equally controversial and deeply unpopular water tax, is set to send a four-page form to households requesting comprehensive personal details.
Sinn Féin county councillor Tom Healy has contacted Irish Water to ask for a copy of the form it intends sending out. However no copy was supplied to the Connemara based councillor as it has not yet been finalised.
Cllr Healy has been “inundated with concerns” about giving bank account details to Irish Water to remove money from bank accounts without the permission of the individual bank account holder.
Irish Water, in response to queries from Cllr Healy said that the submission of bank account and PPS numbers will be voluntary, however he remains concerned that people will “feel pressured into giving this information”.
He added that the letter also raises problems for people on group water schemes, as it appears they will be expected to fill in this form as well. However such schemes are not covered by Irish Water. They remain with the Galway County Council
According to Cllr Healy, people on private schemes will need to return the form and indicate whether they are connected to a public sewerage scheme, but it remains unclear what charges will be applied to these households for ‘water out’ services.
Cllr Healy said too many unanswered questions remain about Irish Water and the introduction of water charges and he has queried the figures put into the public domain so far.
“People will end up paying unknown amounts into this super quango with 4,300 employees including 500 managers and administrators,” he said. “An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny’s, pledge that the 1.7 million households will not pay any more than €240 each per year falls far short of the €2 billion running costs.”