Government needlessly complicating water refunds

Ged Nash TD
21 July 2017
  • Nash concerned that aim is to reduce number of those seeking refunds.
  • Body likely to be inundated with Freedom of Information requests to Irish Water to gain proof of payment.

Labour spokesperson on Social Protection, Senator Ged Nash has said the Government is needlessly complicating the system for water refunds. The creation of a new system to refund payments, and the demand of proof of payment appears designed to reduce the numbers applying. Senator Nash advised those without proof of payment to consider using an FOI request to Irish Water to get the evidence needed.

Senator Nash said:

“The Government plan to refund water charges through an online application process that will require proof of payment.

“I fail to see why refunds cannot be done speedily through Irish Water who have a record of all those who paid.

“Instead they will spend at least €5 million to administer a needlessly complicated scheme.

“Hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens paid their water charges, but for many they will no longer have the proof of payment or will have moved address.

“The reality is that Irish Water know who paid their charges, so the Government should use the payment system already in place to refund people their charges.

“I want to advise anyone who may not have proof of payment that they get it through a Freedom of Information request to Irish Water.

“Given the probability that thousands of bill payers will have destroyed or mislaid their Irish Water bills and proof of payment, the likelihood of a flood of applications under Freedom of Information is very real.

“As each day goes by the costs of administering the refund scheme will escalate and the chances of refunds being returned to everyone by the end of the year are getting slimmer.”

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