Taoiseach plans to refund water charges by end of year

Leo Varadkar shown with Department of Social Protection official Kathleen Stack at the launch of the Welfare Cheats campaign

Leo Varadkar shown with Department of Social Protection official Kathleen Stack at the launch of the Welfare Cheats campaign

Households who have paid the charges can expect to get as much as €325 back from Irish Water as Varadkar's new Government looks set to finally put the matter to bed.

An Oireachtas committee earlier this year recommended that charges should be abolished except for excessive use, and domestic water use should be funded through general taxation.

Although it is not yet known how the refunds will be issued its is believed the Government will spend over €170m to pay back those who paid their charges before they were formally scrapped.

The Taoiseach made the commitment in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

The sum involved is around €170 million, which Varadkar promised will not be taken from funds allocated for Budget 2018.

Although a refund process has been announced by Varadkar, it is not yet certain just how the refunds will be calculated. "It's not going to be a Budget announcement".

The issue of water charges has dominated the headlines for the last number of years.

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