Anti-water charge TD Paul Murphy has claimed that Irish Water figures released today about the latest bill cycle show that as many as a fifth of customers may now have stopped paying charges writes Juno McEnroe.
While the figures show that just 4% cancelled direct debits in the latest quarter, the company saw a 21% drop in their revenue which shows other customers have stopped paying their bills.
The figures comes ahead of a Dail motion being brought next week by anti-water charge TDs who want charges abolished and Irish Water closed down.
Mr Murphy said the latest water figures showed that Irish Water’s revenue from collections dropped by 21% between the third and fourth quarters. This included during the period of the election, when bills were sent out between January and March.
Revenue received during the 4th billing cycle was €33.4m compared to €42.3m in Bill Cycle 3, €38m in Bill Cycle 2 and €30.5m in the 1st billing cycle.
This contrasted to the company’s figures for cancelled direct debits which saw reductions of just 4%. This would appear to suggest that a lot more customers, who are not direct debit and pay by cash, had in fact cancelled their bills.
“The figures don’t’ account for the full reduction in bills being paid,” explained the Dublin South West TD.
The figures now also show that a million households now have arrears with Irish water, said Mr Murphy. Those customers should have their bills scrapped, argued Mr Murphy.
Opposition TDs will debate a private motion next week about the water charges, following a decision by the new government to suspend charges from the end of June.
An anti-water charge protest outside the Dail is also scheduled to take place later this month.