New debt measures likely to remove threat of jail for unpaid water bills

New debt measures likely to remove threat of jail for unpaid water bills

Cabinet ministers are today set to discuss new measures to address cases where people do not pay water charges.

The measures aimed at giving courts alternatives to jailing people for non payment of a range of fines or debt.

Reports suggest the Departments of the Environment and Justice are working together on the issue, and that the threat of jail for those who refuse to pay will be removed.

It is reported the Cabinet will move to address recommendations contained in a Law Reform Commission report at their weekly meeting today.

The alternative measures will see people get attachment orders put on their pay or benefits, allowing outstanding bills to be deducted from income.

An attachment order could also be attached to the property, meaning the house could only be sold when the bills are paid.

After 12 months, a levy or fine of €30-€60 euro will be added depending on the household. This will double each subsequent year.

Efforts will also be made to distinguish between those who cannot pay and those who will not.

Those who cannot play will be invited to enter into "payment plans" and will be given the option to pay their bills on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

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