Crushing water charges on way for rural dwellers

Government to cut subvention to group schemes

Sligo News File Online.

Rural residents face being hit with sky high
charges for water following the government’s decision
to slash subsidies to group water schemes.

Under Environment Department moves, payments
which scheme’s have been receiving are to be scaled
down in cases where water is being obtained from a
local authority, now Irish Water, supply.

The new government cost cutting measures will see
the prevailing €70 allowance lowered to just €40. A
cut of €50 is being made where water is sourced from
wells and lakes. The existing subvention is €140.

It’s not clear what the cuts are really attributable
to. However, some believe it to be a lead-in to a wider 
plan to have all water sources brought within the ownership
of Irish Water. Local authorities have already handed
the company control of even local village pumps.

Independent Roscommon – South Leitrin TD, Michael
Fitzmaurice has blasted the decision as “an attack on
volunteers” who support and manage rural group
schemes.

“I’m very disappointed with this latest news,” he said.
However, he didn’t say if he proposed to take any
steps to have the decision revoked or amended.

The farming community is currently being billed by
both the local authority and Irish Water.

Many in the industry fear the level of water charges
may result in them having to abandon farming.

They also question why farm organisations have
been largely silent on the issue, despite the threat
the charges pose to the future of agri activities.