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 campaignSAM BOAL

The news which will be welcomed by over 1 million householders was confirmed by a Government spokesperson this afternoon.

THE GOVERNMENT INTENDS to begin refunding water charges by the autumn, with the majority to be repaid by the end of the year.

TheJournal.ie reported this week that officials are in negotiations with the European Commission for a special deal to pay around €160 million in water charge refunds.

Back in April, the Oireachtas Water committee made a decision to scrap water charges, approve refunds and reject mandatory metering of new builds.

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In an interview with The Sunday Independent, the Taoiseach said: "There's a cost".

"I anticipate that everybody will have their money back before the end of the year", he said.

Although a refund process has been announced by Varadkar, it is not yet certain just how the refunds will be calculated.

The issue of water charges has dominated the headlines for the last number of years. But we intent to do it in the autumn. "It's not going to be a Budget announcement".

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