Today we presented a comprehensive Water Charges Submission on behalf of more than 4,000 members who contributed to it, along with the rest of the now 65,000+ strong One Big Switch network.

By adding their voices to the submission, One Big Switch members have taken positive action to make sure the consumer voice is heard in the water charges debate.

The key findings of the submission highlight the level of bill stress Irish households are already facing and the impact new water charges would have on their financial and physical wellbeing. The key findings concluded that:

  • 77% of co-authors do not support the introduction of water charges with the majority believing they are unaffordable and families are already struggling enough,
  • 97% of respondents are currently experiencing bill stress, with 65% of respondents experiencing “a lot” or “extreme” bill stress.
  • 97% believe the proposed charge of €240 will increase their bill stress.
  • The proposed allocations are insufficient for an average household to lead a healthy lifestyle, and
  • The application of the charges as proposed is inequitable and more needs to be done to ensure fairness in its application.

While the introduction of water charges are going ahead, it’s vital that policy makers take note of a submission written by consumers. Particularly when they consider the real impact that the proposed €240 water charges will have on many household budgets.” One Big Switch founder Oliver Tattan said,

It’s important the voice of ordinary Irish households is heard by key policy makers in the final deliberations on the design of the Water Charges payment and billing systems.”

Copies of the submission have been received by representatives of all major political parties as well as government representatives including the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and the Minister for Social Protection.

Details of the report and the list of contributors can be found at here.


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josephine from MO commented:

Totally agree,, Behind you all the way. 

Someone from G commented:

We will have to do what our grandparents did before running water came, go to the toilet outside in the bushes as it will keep down the amount of water we use 

Someone from D commented:

How can water charges be revenue-neutral when so many people 'working' for Irish Water are paid mega-bucks? 

eireen from CE commented:

I have no problem about the principle of paying for water. I do have a problem about paying for the water that is being wasted/lost through leaking pipes, and feel that this problem has to be rectified before asking us to pay. If forty percent of water is being lost through leakage, does this mean that it is costing forty per cent more to supply sufficient water to meet the country's needs?? What?? Eireen Lee 

Someone from D commented:

The only consolation paying water charges is that it ( hopefully) wont be a "Dublin" tax like property charges. Be prepared to be screwed by the "Uisce crats" with Privatisation down the road a distinct possibility. PS. Duncan Eco Eye Stewart has posted some good tips for ways to save money and conserve water 

Dermot from D commented:

I can accept the need for water charges, however, as with most charges they will only increase in the future. Why should we have to pay for undrinkable water - get rid of fluoride. Reduce the number of staff inherited from the various councils. They don’t appear to have been very efficient when they were State employees so let them apply for jobs in the new authority and gain them on merit. 

John from LK commented:

Water charges are only a way to make certain individuals millionaires we shoul all refuse to pay but like everything else in ireland we just a ccept what is thrown at us like sheep 

Tom from TA commented:

On Jobseekers Benefit of €84.50 per week, which is to be cut to zero in January, how can one expected to pay water charges on top of Property Tax of €450 per year? This government has stated that they won't Income Tax, a tax by any other name (Property, Water) is Still a Tax on income, no matter how small that income is!!! CANT PAY - WON'T PAY THIS UNJUST TAX! - Enda, Joan, Michael and can't get blood from a stone!! 

Michael J
Michael J from C replied to Tom:

Enda, Joan, Michael, Brendan & Co. Take notice, come early 2016 hopefully the lot of you will be handed your P45's for good. The only problem is that ye will not have to wait until age 68 (thanks to Fianna Fail) to get those well padded and extremely generous state pensions and related benefits. What a pity!!! 

Tom from TA replied to Michael J:

Agree, ALL tared with the same brush. A shower of Mé Feiners, with Angela's little puppet at the helm, who feather their own nests with perks and nice pensions and to hell with the common man and woman. Would that we could get rid of them before 2016 but the question is, who will have the guts to reverse the punitive taxes that have been imposed on Séan Citizen? 

Fintan from D commented:

Its the usual Irish way of doing things. Some yahoo came up with the idea to charge for water. However, as is the norm, not enough research and planning went into the project which as always will cause problems down the line. I live on my own in an apartment complex so the installation of meters is not an option. So how are they going to access how my water usage?? eg. I don't have a washing machine as it expends too much energy so I use the local launderette. However I'm sure that there are couples living in the same complex in a 1 bedroom apartment who do run a washing machine and would also use twice as much water as I do with showers etc. So how can these know-it-alls equate this particular scenario and, of course, there are thousands of similar situations all over the country...... 

ethel from CE commented:

Water today what's next soon we will have to pay for the air we breathe 

David - One Big Switch
David - One Big Switch from D replied to ethel:

Let's hope not Ethel! 

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