The household water allowance should be five times the proposed allowance to reflect the average household use, according to Cllr Colette Connolly.
Cllr Colette Connolly said that the “so-called free allowance of 30,000 litres per annum is only 21 per cent of the average household use and 38 per cent of single household use”.
“This means effectively that a householder is being asked to pay for the water that they actually require and need on a daily basis,” said Cllr Connolly, describing this as “grossly unfair” and adding that despite the additional allowance for children and financial assistance for those on pension and low incomes, people should not have to pay for what is a basic human right.
“While there is some merit in charging households from an environmental perspective for excessive usage, however, every household should be entitled to an average household allowance based on 100 per cent average national usage and nothing less,” said Cllr Connolly.
She said that the average projected bill of €240 is unfair and unjust and people are extremely concerned and worried at this additional financial burden.
“Again, it is the ordinary taxpayer that is now going to fund Irish Water to rectify successive governments’ failure to invest in water infrastructure and address the 40 per cent water loss through leaking pipes. Furthermore, Irish Water are only going to carry out one essential repair per household for leaking pipes – after that the householder is expected to pay.
“This will impose a significant financial liability on the householder, which again is unfair and unjust, particularly as they have already contributed in taxes. Indeed, the faulty pipes could well reflect the lack of repairs done by local authorities prior to water being transferred to Irish Water.”
Cllr Connolly added that it is regrettable that no free phone number has been provided by Irish Water for their customers. She said that her motion, agreed by her fellow Councillors on Galway City Council, was sent to Irish Water and “completely ignored”.
“It is entirely unacceptable that a householder should have to pay to phone Irish Water to report a fault,” she said.