Belfast Telegraph

Republic to cap tap tax at £128 a year

By Brian Hutton

Homes in the Republic will begin to get water bills capped at €160 (£128) from next April, the Dublin government has confirmed.

After months of confusion and increasingly heated street demonstrations over the latest austerity tax, Environment Minister Alan Kelly admitted mistakes in its calamitous introduction.

"We, as a Government, have made mistakes but now we face a critical choice," he said.

"Put simply, we now have a choice that is based on either short-term emotion and anger or long-term prudence and common sense. Anger is never a good starting point for a key decision."

Under the controversial scheme, householders will be liable for charges of €160 for single-adult homes and €260 (£208) for all other homes.

But water conservation grants of €100 (£80) a year mean the effective costs will be €60 (£48) and €1 respectively.

The charges, liable from January 1, will remain the same for four years. Following angry protests targeting senior government ministers in recent days, a national demonstration against the "tap tax" is being planned for December 10.

Under the scheme, householders who do not pay the water charge face late payment penalties of €30 (£24) for single adult homes and €60 for others.

Those who don't register for the levy will not qualify for the water conservation grant and will automatically get a 260 euro a year bill.

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