The government are committed to implementing a new household charge in the forthcoming Budget on December 6.
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, reiterated that the controversial charge will be introduced next year when replying to a question from Deputy Terence Flanagan in the Dáil last week.
He said the household charge was an interim measure while a full property tax is considered.
When asked about the possibility of water charges being introduced, the Minister said: “The Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland and the EU/IMF includes a commitment to introduce water charges for households.
“The Programme for Government provides for the introduction of a fair funding model to deliver clean and reliable water. The Programme for Government envisages that charges will apply to usage above a free allowance. My Department is currently preparing a strategy to implement these proposals, including consideration of support for low income households. Further details will be announced following the Government’s consideration of the proposals.
“The Memorandum with the EU/IMF also commits the Government to the introduction of a property tax for 2012. This reflects the need, in the context of the State’s overall financial position, to put the funding of locally delivered services on a sound financial footing, improve accountability and better align the cost of providing services with the demand for such services.
“In light of the complex issues involved, a property tax, requiring a comprehensive property valuation system, would take time to introduce and accordingly, to meet the requirements in the EU/IMF Programme, the Government has decided to introduce a household charge in 2012.
“The household charge is an interim measure and proposals for a full property tax will be considered by the Government in due course. The legislation to underpin the household charge will contain the precise details of the charge and will be published and brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas shortly.
“Similar to the charge on non-principal private residences, it is intended that the household charge will be administered on a self assessment basis and it will be a matter for owners of residential property to register and pay the charge by the due date. In the event of non payment, penalties will apply and unpaid household charges will remain as a charge against the property concerned,” said Minister Hogan.