Paying for clean water


Sir, – Your editorial “Clean water – who pays the price?” (February 6th) correctly states that Irish Water will be competing for capital funding with health, education, transport and housing services, if water services are to be paid for from general taxation, as recommended by the expert commission.

Even during the Celtic Tiger years, when the country was awash with money, the government of the day failed to provide adequate investment to upgrade water and wastewater treatment systems and pipelines.

The €13 billion required by Irish Water up to 2021 cannot be provided from general taxation as the demands for extra health and housing services alone will receive greater priority.

The only solution to this funding issue is for the political system to do what is best for the long-term future of the country, ie introduce a charging regime, with a waiver system for the less well-off.

Reintroducing charges would also bring fairness to the system as it would bring urban dwellers into line with rural dwellers, who have always funded their own private water services.

Having paid €500 for a new water pump last week, I am looking forward to receiving a refund from general taxation! – Yours, etc,