Ireland: Outrage as its revealed politicians WON’T have to pay water charges on second homes

Irish Mirror

Pampered politicians will not have to pay water charges on their second homes.

Ministers, Junior Ministers and the Attorney General will be exempt from the €125 payment on their second residence thanks to a law dating back to 1997.

This will come as a massive blow to hard-pressed families who are being crucified with the levies starting from today.  

Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty said it was outrageous that this would be allowed to happen and called for a change in the laws.

He said: “This outrageous revelation is another smack in the face to hundreds of thousands of families out there who will face water charges.

“To my knowledge Enda Kenny and his ministers are the only people who will be able to claim back their water charges from their tax bill.

“The fact that each of them earn above €130,000 a year won’t be lost on anyone.”

Scenes at the Irish Water protest in Limewood, Dublin


The laws entitles Ministers to claim a €3,500 tax deduction on top of the cost of their second homes.

Rural-based ministers are entitled to write off the cost of mortgage interest on the Dublin properties they stay in while attending the Dail – as well as laundry, electricity bills, gas bills, repairs and maintenance.

The taxman has now confirmed that the €125 charge for second homes can be claimed for also.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he will be paying his charges on his apartment in Dublin where he stays during the week.

Cash-strapped households will start paying for water today with families facing bills of up to €500.

The crippling levies come into effect with the first bill landing in the letter boxes of two million people in January.

Scenes at the Irish Water protest in Limewood, Dublin


Just a day before people are forced to pay, the Commission for Energy Regulation finally released payment details.

It revealed:

  • The average charge for two adults will be €278 a year, €35 more than Enda Kenny promised
  • Children up to the age of 18 will only get a 21,000 litre allowance up but the average young adult uses 30,000 more
  • The assessed charge will be frozen for nine months but 80% of houses won’t be metered until 2016 meaning it could rise for them
  • Homes with boil-water notices for 24 hours before the levies come in will get 50% off their bill
  • The cost per 1,000 litres is €4.88 meaning a five-minute shower will cost you 17c or 39c for a bath.

St Vincent De Paul said publication of the report 24 hours before the charges kick in makes a mockery of the regulatory system.

Chairman Jim Walsh added it is deeply concerned at the impact on households that are still struggling because of the Government’s austerity policies.

He said: “We are particularly concerned at the lack of information underpinning Government direction on costs which were indicated by the Taoiseach and the likely severe increase of previously stated costs for households after the period of fixed pricing end in 2016.

“The timing of Irish Water could not be worse than to propose to issue its first bills immediately after Christmas, which is an impact on families that shows grave lack of consideration for the stress and financial struggles of many households.”

The levies mean the average charge for an adult will be €176, for two €278, for three €381, for four €483 and for five €583.

Fianna Fail Environment spokesman Barry Cowen said the figures show the Government was dishonest from the beginning.

Fianna Fail TDs Barry Cowen and Michael McGrath at Leinster House today


He added: “The Taoiseach told the Dail families would pay an average of €240 – today we learn it will be 20% higher than was promised.

“The Taoiseach also said children would not be charged for water and today we see this is not true. It exposes the deeply cynical approach of the Government.

“We were promised the full details before May’s local elections, but it has taken until the Dail summer recess for the true cost of the charges to be disclosed.”

The CER confirmed the assessed charge for houses which don’t have a meter will be frozen for the first nine months.

But this will mean little to people whose home will not have a meter until 2016 when 80% of homes will have one installed.

“This could mean the assessed charge will be hiked between now and then. The 20,000 households that have boil water notices in Co Roscommon will have their incoming water supply for free but will have to fork out for their waste supply.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the aim of the Government was to make the charges fair and equitable as possible.

He added there would be no U-Turn on handing over your Personal Public Service Number to Irish Water.

Socialist TD Joe Higgins said there “is a revolt against this tax in communities across the country with large meetings, protests against meters and marches taking place”.

He added: “This new charge will be met with a massive boycott of the charge in 2015.

“The water charges were defeated in the 1990s by a campaign of non-payment. The same will happen again.”

3 thoughts on “Ireland: Outrage as its revealed politicians WON’T have to pay water charges on second homes

  1. Hahaha! Oh man, more insanity to laugh at, as the corruption continues around the world….It never ends.

    So much for the “luck of the Irish”. I think all their luck has run out.

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