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Stormont ends installation of water meters in Northern Ireland

By Staff Reporter

The controversial installation of water meters in homes in Northern Ireland has been ended.

The Assembly has passed regulations to formally end the practice, although Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard had ordered it to stop in July.

"Installing meters currently costs the public purse around £200,000 per year. This is a waste of money given these will not be used. The legislation today will end this waste of valuable resources," he said.

Installers for Government-owned company NI Water have been intimidated in the past by communities opposed to water charging.

More than 42,000 had been installed, at a cost of more than £13m.

Critics claimed they were being fitted in order to pave the way for separate water charges.

But Mr Hazzard said his regulations "reinforce the Executive's commitment not to bring in water charging for households", although water already forms part of the domestic rates bill.

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