‘No fear’ new levy will fall foul of EU rules

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has dismissed European Commission concerns about the revised water charges regime and said he is confident Irish Water will not fall foul of EU regulations.

His comments come amid calls for the €100 grant for homes signing up for water charges to be released sooner rather than later to help low-income families facing water bills next year.

Mr Kenny said he was not worried at the commission’s view that new provisions would jeopardise the Coalition’s fiscal plans and hopes to reduce the deficit.

He said the presence of the troika in Ireland was for statistical purposes only and that its programme was finished here.

“I’m not concerned at the commission’s view and I’m very happy that Ireland will measure up here in the way that this particular scheme has been designed,” he said.

Mr Kenny said he was “very happy” that Irish Water would pass Eurostat rules which will examine the amount of state resources which are allowed to prop up the semi-state finances.

The Coalition announced its reduced charges this week, which will see homes pay flat charges for the next four years. Households which register for the levy will get an annual rebate.

Mr Kenny reiterated that, under the new scheme, a charge for a single person is €1.15 for water per week and €3 for a multi-adult household.

Under the new arrangements, people will be required to make the first two quarterly bill payments in April and July 2015 before they receive their €100 payment in September.

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