Cathaoirleach: paying for water through taxes ‘unfair’ to people in rural areas

The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council says paying for water through general taxation is simply ‘not fair’ for those who live in rural Ireland.

Fine Gael Councillor Hubert Keaney says there are at least 400,000 people who already pay for their water in rural areas through Group Water Schemes.

Meanwhile, the President of the IFA says that farmers have seen a reduction in water usage and wastage since they have had to pay for water rates.

The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council says many people in rural Ireland are already paying for water.

Fine Gael Councillor Hubert Keaney says any new system to be agreed by the new oireachtas committee on water should be fair.

He says that means that those who have paid should be refunded or those who haven’t should be pursued.

But he says that a significant number of people are already paying.

And he has hit out at those who are calling for this to be paid for through general taxation:

Meanwhile speaking to Ocean FM News in Enniscrone last night, the President of the IFA says domestic water charges are also a concern for farmers.

But he said most farmers already pay water rates.

While they fear there could be a double charge if it comes in through general taxation – he says his own experience of paying water charges has reduced wastage on many farms:

Meanwhile, many members of the public are of the opinion that people who have paid water charges should be refunded their money.

People to whom Ocean FM News spoke to this morning said it was a matter of fairness.

However, some pointed out that everyone wants good quality water and that providing it costs money.

These were the opinions of some people on the streets of Sligo this morning about whether those who paid should get a refund of their money.