Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Wednesday), appealed to Irish Water to consider extending the age for the children’s water free allowance to students up to 23 years of age who can prove they are in full time education.
“Water charges are needed as up until now we have been spending €1.2 billion to produce water, almost half of which leaks away through broken pipes. Significant investment in our long neglected water infrastructure is needed to allow us to cater for a growing population and to support job creation and investment. However, we need to ensure that these charges are fair and affordable for all.
“The Government has gone to great lengths to ensure that supports are available to assist with payment of the water charges. A free allowance of 30,000 litres has been approved for all households, charges will be capped for people with medical conditions who use more water, the Households Benefits Package will include a water support payment of €100 and income tax relief worth up to €100 per household per year will be available.
“In order to assist families, a free allowance of 21,000 litres per child has been introduced. This will be of great assistance to young families across the country, but I believe that we also need to ensure that families with dependent children still in education are supported in a similar way. Many young people over 18 are still in education and are fully dependent on their parents.
“There is no avoiding the fact that we need to invest in our water system, but we need the charges to be fair and affordable.“