BY FIACH KELLY POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT – 24 APRIL 2013
THE Government is negotiating with the Troika to delay the introduction of water charges until January 2015, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dail.
The bailout agreement says they must be introduced next year, but Mr Kenny says the Coalition wants to push this back.
However, as previously revealed by the Irish Independent, Mr Kenny said homeowners would receive their first bills in 2015 – but they would be backdated to include the last three months of 2014.
The Troika is in Dublin for its review of the bailout this week, and the delay will be raised by Government at the meetings.
Senior government sources previously said “substantially more than 50pc” of water meters must be installed before people are billed.
Ministers want to avoid assessed charges – based on estimated water usage – which will be paid by houses without meters when the water tax is introduced. Assessed water charges are likely to be based on house size, and they would be hugely damaging politically.
It would also be hugely damaging for Fine Gael and Labour to introduce the charges before the local elections, which take place next summer.