Kelly: 'Nothing harsh' about water charge penalties

Kelly: 'Nothing harsh' about water charge penalties

The Environment Minister Alan Kelly says there is "nothing harsh" at all about the Government's new water charges packages - including the penalties.

Mr Kelly was speaking on his way into this morning's special Cabinet meeting on the measures he is due to announce to the Dáil later.

The package, which is likely to cap charges at €160, is also likely to include compliance measures and the possibility of court appearances for those who don't pay.

Minister Kelly says all will be revealed later, but he says there is nothing "harsh" about the charge package.

He said: "We feel that reasonable people are going to come with us as a result of what I'm going to announce today.

"I don’t think anything about this package is going to be harsh, but everything will be revealed at 3pm today."

Meanwhile, The Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin says mistakes were made in setting up Irish Water.

Mr Howlin says he believes the public will be proud in the utility company in years to come.

He said: "To actually put in an infrastructure that in 10, 15, 20 years, we'll be as proud of Irish Water, I believe, as we are now of the ESB or Bord na Mona or any of the other fine State institutions.

"But yes, mistakes were made."

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