Water charges 'no longer feasible' says Farrell after 45 per cent drop in payment rates

Galway councillor demands Government legislate to abolish Irish Water

A 45 per cent drop in water charge payment rates "show clearly that water charges have no future" and that the implementation of domestic charges is "no longer feasible".

This is according to Sinn Féin city councillor Mairéad Farrell who was responding to payment rate figures released this week by Irish Water. The figures show another dramatic drop in the number of people paying water charges in the fifth billing quarter.

The company collected €18.3 million in revenue for water services used between January and March 2016 - which amounts to only 27 per cent of charges due, and a 45 per cent drop on the previous billing quarter. Previous payment rates have been 49 per cent in the last quarter, 62 per cent in the third quarter, 56 per cent in the second quarter, and 45 per cent in the first quarter.

Cllr Farrell said the position taken by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Independent TDs for a temporary suspension of the charges, "shows they are still not listening to the people".

She has called on the Government to "abandon the delay tactics" of the "so-called 'expert' Commission on Water" and legislate directly for the abolition of domestic water charges.

"Everything else is only kicking the can down the road," she said. "Water charges will remain the most contentious of political issues until this Government and Fianna Fáil accept that last February the majority of people vote to scrap water charges and abolish Irish Water."

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