Water charges – down the drain?

 

Sir, – The article “Government to rush through legislation to clear path for water charge repayments” (News, July 18th) states, while referring to the conservation grant, that “It emerged that 190,000 households who paid no water bills, albeit many of them in group water schemes, had availed of the grant”.

This implies that people on group water schemes paid no charges, which of course is incorrect.

It also implies that there was an option with regard to acceptance or refusal of the conservation grant. No such option was given.

However, should the proposed “water charge repayments” legislation include refunds of the substantial charges paid by members of group water schemes over many years, there would be little objection. – Yours, etc,

FRED J FITZSIMONS,

Drumbracken,

Carrickmacross,

Co Monaghan.

Sir, – We agree with the sentiments expressed in the letters regarding the refunding of water charges published on July 19th.

In particular, we support John Quinn’s proposal that the money refunded should be given to those in East Africa who are struggling to cope with drought. This might be difficult to do nationally but at least as individuals we could donate our own refunds to this good cause. – Yours, etc,

JANE and BILL GRIMSON,

An Clochán, Co Kerry.

Sir, – Now that we are getting the water charges refunded, when can I expect my money back for electricity and gas? Surely this should have been dealt with first if our populist politicians were really giving power to the people. – Yours, etc,

COLIN WALSH,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – I could not believe my eyes when I read the article “Customers must apply for water bill refunds” (News, July 19th).

It was hard not to imagine frustrated politicians and bureaucrats faking inability to comprehend how such a simple administrative task would take such seemingly insurmountable obstacles to accomplish.

At the outset of this whole debacle, Irish Water set out seven payment options – its accounts were able to show clearly which customers had paid and which were overdue or had not paid – as well as assigning a reference number, a water point reference number number (WPRN), and an account number to each individual customer.

Its billing department was able to furnish, on request, a detailed statement of amounts paid and owing on each account.

Refunds should, therefore, be the essence of simplicity. 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN O’DONNELL,

Glenageary,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – It’s great and fair that we who have paid will get our money back.

Although it will never be really fair while those who didn’t pay will be allowed to keep the €100 grant.

But quitting while we seem to be ahead is the easiest course now.

But are we all going to have to go through the laborious process of “applying” for it? It would seem to be a relatively simple software programme to design to simply issue a cheque to those who have paid.

All the information, passwords, and details about us were dragged out of us already when we paid.

I would expect Irish Water to have programmers who are up to this “challenge”. – Yours, etc,

SHEILA DEEGAN,

Dublin 3.