‘No grant gain for those who didn’t pay water charges’

People who claimed the conservation grant but did not pay water charges will not “gain financially” over households that paid, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has said.

Fianna Fáil have called on the Government to set aside money in October’s Budget for water charge refunds.

While a system for refunds still has to be agreed upon, Mr Varadkar has promised to make sure that “those law-abiding citizens who paid their bills don’t end up financially worse than people who didn’t pay their bills, but still claimed the grant”.

Mr Varadkar added that this is something he feels “very strongly about”.

Some 190,000 people claimed the €100 water conservation grant but did not pay water charges.

Mr Varadkar has now asked his department to cross-check with Irish Water those who received the grant to ensure only people who paid charges would be refunded

This view was echoed by Housing Minister Simon Coveney, who said: “We need to ensure that people are treated fairly, but also that the State is not paying inappropriately, either, so that is why I have always said refunds should be net of the water conservation grant.

“Even though the two were not formally or legally linked, there is clearly a link between the water conservation grant and acceptance of the water-charging system.”

Mr Coveney said he will now be speaking with Finance Minister Michael Noonan, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe, and Mr Varadkar to come up with an efficient way of paying people back their money.

“Ultimately, that will be a matter for DPER or Finance to get it right, whether we do it through Revenue or whether we don’t,” said Mr Coveney.

Related Articles

Latest: Houses will be given time to fix leaks before excess water charges, says Minister

Group water subsidy per house to go as high as €281

People Before Profit warning of more water protests if Government change free allowance rules

Sinn Fein dismiss suggestions they are to blame for delay in water charge refunds

More in this Section

Machete-hurley among weapons seized in raids in north Cork

Mother asks HSE to help son jailed for assaulting her

Don't rain on our St Patrick’s Day: A guide to start times and places for today's parades

Twins no longer identical after one brother's year on International Space Station

Breaking Stories

Woman to appear in court in connection with Dublin drug seizure worth €1.4m

No winner of tonight's Lotto jackpot worth almost €4.7m

Gardaí appeal for help locating Dublin teen

Gardaí investigate burglary of 98-year-old Kilkenny woman


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner