Those who paid their water bills cannot be treated unfairly, a senior Cabinet member has said today.
Richard Bruton said that the special Oireachtas Committee will have to consider whether people will be refunded the money they paid.
Earlier, Minister Simon Coveney said the money had already been spent on infrastructure.
Minister Bruton said that the recent water commission report shows any new funding model will have to be fair for all.
"It has underlined some principles of fairness that must inform any change, and one of those is that those who have paid and under civic duty and respected the law of the land cannot be treated any way unfairly compared to those who didn't pay," he said.
"Now, the way in which you ensure that principle is delivered will have to be assessed by the Committee."