Less than half of households intend on paying water charges

Less than half of households intend on paying water charges

Less than half of households intend to pay the water charge, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll published in today’s Irish Times.

The news comes hot on the heels of figures from Irish Water earlier this week which showed that 700,000 households had yet to register for the charge, which kicks in from the New Year.

When asked if their households intended to pay the charge, 48 per cent said Yes and 33 per cent said No, with 11 per cent undecided and 8 per cent saying the issue did not apply to them.

The poll also shows that the Government’s decision to cap the charges has encouraged some who did not intend to pay to change their minds.

The survey was undertaken on Monday and Tuesday this week among a representative sample of 1,200 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

The poll shows a potentially high compliance rate among better-off voters while the strongest opposition comes from the other end of the social scale.

A majority of people who own their houses are willing to pay. This is in contrast to those living in accommodation rented from local authorities or private landlords, with a majority saying they will not pay the charge.

Older people are more likely to pay the water charge, with the oldest category, over-65s, the most compliant.

Those at the other end of the age spectrum are least likely to pay.

You can read the full Irish Times article here.

Today we ask you….

  • Are you going to pay or have you already paid?
  • Will this issue bring down the current government?
  • Should landlords be held liable if their tenants refuse to pay?

Have your say below…

There are 24 comments for this article
  1. peadar at 11:45 am

    I agree with Elizabeth. We are already paying. Also, these new “Taxes” take no account of peoples ability to pay. I remember years ago, Fine Gael were thrown out of Government for taxing childrens clothes – unbelievable, but true. That is a barometer of the type of set up and the psychology of Fine Gael. They were often refered to as – “The Book Keeping Party”, They are squares and can only think inside the box. Look at Iceland – they had guts and stood their ground, and have come out okay at the end of the day. As for Labour RIP.

  2. peadar at 11:34 am

    I would say – Wake up people = The facts is we are already paying for this service, 3 percent on VAT and 2 percent on road tax is earmarked for this already. If you bought a Television and were asked after you paid for it, to pay for it again – what would your response be ? My response is – I will not be paying.
    If Uisce do cut water off – Just watch as the claims pile in on them due to injuries and damage – for example getting scalded in a shower that has no TS built in when water is unregulated, disease due to being unable to maintain adequate hygeine, certain central heating systems going haywire etc etc,
    Water is a human right. The Government have been treating the public with disdain and contempt, for some reason they assume most of us are idiotic sheep that can be herded any way they see fit. The protests have proved them wrong. It is great to see democracy in action, if the Government do not stop this water charge nonsence, then GET OUT – at the end of the day, it is clear, the people have the power. Lets stick to our guns and let true democracy play out.

  3. Brendan at 11:35 pm

    I am one of the older people mentioned earlier and I have not returned any forms and I will not, I will not pay any fines or levies and if monies are taken from my state pension I am well prepared to do whatever it takes up to and including hunger strike not because of the cost of water but sooner or later politicians need to realise that people are fed up with their lies and greed,if they really have the citizens best interests then they should reduce their pay to the industrial rate, work a39 hour day in the chamber, pay their own traveling costs (like every other person who has to drive to his/her place of work) and if they want to have an office in their town to promote getting re elected then pay for it out of their own money. If they do that they will be reelect end for ever

    • Alexander at 12:59 pm

      Hi Brendan,
      That sounds all fine and dandy but they will get you one way or another, dead or alive.
      Assuming one doesn’t pay they will get it out of your estate when you kick the bucket and your estate goes to probate. There will be a lineage placed on your property.

      I know because it happened to me when I sold my home to move abroad up in 2005. It was around the time of the Bin charges dilemma when Clare Daly was telling everyone in Fingal not to pay their bin charges. At that time the council were legally obligated to collect bins until the law was changed.
      When I went to collect my settlement cheque from my solicitor the amount owed to Fingal County Council (estimated by them) for approximately 6 months was deducted from my property sale and settlement cheque.

      • peadar at 5:47 pm

        I believe that unlike the bin charges – this time it is an all or nothing campaign. I admire Brendans attitude – he has backbone, which is what is needed. These water charges are the last straw and we must keep up the pressure. It has to be all or nothing – you could not trust the slimey politicians – they will do anything to save their skins. They will increase them in a few years – once they create distance, and the anger has subsided. They used the costly – to us – Tribunals to to do the same thing. This is a people protest – it is not a party freeload – the people are showing their anger at being screwed by arrogant and insensensitive politicians – who incidentally are so over b—– paid that extra charges would not affect them anyway. Wish I had a job that gave me – A LIFETIME PENSION AFTER ONLY 4 YEARS OF WORK !!!!!!!!! MUST HAVE PICKED THAT ONE UP FROM THE GREEKS YEARS AGO.
        Peadar MacMillan.

  4. Tom Allen at 3:21 pm

    I completed my water registration form as soon as it came in the door and returned it immediately much to my disgust seeing all that has transpired since.
    I have no difficulty paying for water but it is not a water charge but a tax, consequently I will not be paying. There are too many people out there to whom this imposition will be the straw that breaks the” camel’s back” and are unable to find the money to pay. I will join in the protest against this tax s a way of supporting the less well off.


    • Rita at 3:32 pm

      Like you Tom, we are very much tax compliant but you are right this is a bridge too far and like you I have no problem to pay for water but I’m damned if I’m going to pay a tax for yet another quango

      • Maria at 8:57 pm

        I like your texts Tom&Rita,and the way,you are thinking and I do think like you.The water is every bodies I wasn’t there where God give a water to politicians! Was there anyone?

        • peadar at 10:30 pm

          I notice the latest little threat from the Arrogant rulers of Government Buildings. They say now that Irish water may end up being privatised – the government apparently having no control or choice in the matter [ threat being the cost control will be out of government control thereafter and uisce can then charge whatever they fancy]. They do not seem to be getting the message. There will be no Irish water/ usice, we wont be paying anything, [ we already are – vat etc.,] Finegael – labour – back down or get out.

      • PaulP at 12:07 am

        But you would happily give it back to the council’s who made a mess of it? Doesn’t make sense

  5. Elizabeth at 3:02 pm

    How many other people registered for the Water Tax by the 31st October deadline just because they were told by the government that if we didn’t register by 31st October, then we’d lose our 30,000 litre free allowance ? Then just weeks after that deadline, they had me absolutely fuming and feeling like a complete idiot as they scrapped the free allowance altogether. But they’re going to pay us a €100 rebate and cap the Water Tax until 2018!!! instead. Ha, ha, ha……fool me once, you won’t fool me again. They announced the 30,000 litre allowance in May 2014, just before the local elections, kept it until the 31st Oct deadline passed and then scrapped it, the rebate and charge cap will both be gone as soon as the next election is over, after which the costs will multiply. Time to say NO now

  6. PaulP at 12:52 pm

    Yes I will be paying. I have paid for water through a group scheme for the past 8 years and I have no problem paying in my new home. The government clearly haven’t the money to repair the infrastructure so it is my duty to protect our water supply for my children.

    • orla at 6:43 pm

      This government have no intention of cleaning up the water system and as for doing it for our childrens future in this country is doomed. The banks shld have been left fall to the ground, we are now paying for their greed. They were all left off Scott free to go off and enjoy their large pensions, their luxury holidays and we are left to pay for their mess. This government is squeezing every last cent out of us, while they and the rich wont mind another tax because they can afford it.

      • peadar at 7:14 pm

        Look – the reality is that all these charges including property tax and the usl were forced on us by the Troice – the German and French – pension companies – to pay their gamble debts for them. The monies for the infrastructure are already being deducted through vat 3 percent road tax 2 percent and usl. Does no one remember the massive posters of Fine Gael and Labour during the last election. – “BURN THE BONDHOLDERS” Well I guess me and most people I know must be the bondholders, because we are the only ones that got burned.
        The problem is the way the country is administered – I know at least 20 employees of State – semi state and the Banks etc [ who we bailed out] that have gone on early pension aged from 48 up to about 57 along with recieving lump sums. Why should I have to work until I am 69 so that these people have an easy life that I am paying for along with my wife and most other workers I know. T.D s get a life pension after only 4 years service, Most public servants will get a lump sum on retirement – we are all paying for this – if you are a private sector worker. Stop these ridiculous payments and put them into the country. I thought when the Troice came they would stop all this lunacy !!! They were only interested in getting the pension scheme monies back and protecting the Euro.

  7. desmond at 12:26 pm

    as the former goverment took the country down why should the people have to pay to keep the country going every one of them walked free i think they are all together now the parties and bluffing the people they are all the same for themselves there is no money and there pensions are very high that my take on it yours desmond

    • elcke at 4:07 pm

      desmond could be true what you say, but the point is all the money a goverment has ,comes from its taxpayers. The current Governent had to repair all the down taking of the former one with the tax we all paid. So what ever happens it is always the citizin who has to pay for, otherwise a country will go down even more. You don t believe that the Governemnt has a machjne where they just press a button and get all the money they need, do you?
      That their pensions may be higher than that of other people is true too, they paid more premium for it as they earned more money than average people and also paid more tax then average people so, it is the chicken or the egg you are talking about. But in the water charge discussion this is no issue at all.

  8. Betty at 12:19 pm

    Are you kidding me about landlord having to pay for tenants. We already have low rental income down the country and pay property tax for them. If they were in the UK they would have to pay council tax. The bank are after most investors this is the last episode. Under our agreement with Europe we are exempt from paying for water why are the Government giving this up the whole country is falling apart.

    • Brian at 2:20 pm

      I totally agree! Note I am not a landlord but I am a home owner and it infuriates me that renters get free local services (LPT) but I have to pay. I lived in England for 10 years and as Betty says local services are the responsibility of the consuming party to pay for. Basically this country is turning into a Communist Soviet IMO.

    • elcke at 3:28 pm

      we wil have to give up this Agreement because Ireland got billions and billions of euros to recover from the crisis from Europe and this is one of the conditions and every citizin in Europe has to pay for the water too and yes not a free amount first but from liter number one!, As a government has no penny of its self all must be ,” earned” by the taxes they get, you will understand that those who use water cleaned and made ready to drink by the government, will have to pay for it. When you go to the bakery you won’t get a bread for free neither. When nobody will pay for the water I can assure you that the taxes will rise, which Government will be in charge! However that a landlord has to oay for his tenants is ridiculous! The tenant uses the water so let him do this, when he refuses, landlords should increase their rent

  9. Rita at 12:15 pm

    I am only liable for water in. I can pay but I won’t pay because Irish Water should never have been set up. Why was it set up, to be privatized later and I do not trust this Government or any other Irish Government not to sell it off? Do they think the Irish voter is a fool, they can think again. Water charges will bring this Government down.

  10. elcke at 12:14 pm

    Of course we will have to pay for water charges as long as it applies to you. I wonder if the people who say know understand what one liter water for households costs before you can tap it. It is not just coming from the blue sky. Read most no sayers are on the ower side of social scale, also those people who leave the rap tap open phen it freezes in winter?? Also those people should learn to use their brains and understand that healthy water costs money and can never be free. There is no country in Europe where you get it for free, even from the first liter you have to pay vir it, as it is here free until a certain amount of liters!

    • Elizabeth at 2:50 pm

      Water isn’t free at the moment, its being paid for through our motor tax and VAT. It isn’t free just because the government spin says so and if the government takes money through my motor tax/VAT and then uses that money for something else and comes back looking for more money to pay for the water, that doesn’t make it right. Imagine if you paid your electricity / gas bill and Electric Ireland / Bord Gais came back afterwards looking for more, saying that they’d spent your earlier payment refurbishing their headquarters or repaying somebody elses’ debts, and that you couldn’t have your electricity / gas for ‘free’

      • elcke at 3:50 pm

        Indeed all taxes come into a big box and every department gets a part of it to solve problems and pay their needs from, so a euro or so of your VAT or Motor tax could be used for other purposes of the Government,. You canmot keep all your tax payments in your hand and say only for this or that and not for this That s what the Government decides.
        The Government has to come for water charges now to you as before we never paid for it and the VAT and motor tax was partly used for it but now they have not enough money to finance this, so finally the water charge or tax, how you want te call it, is there. The bottom of the big box is seen so it is a matter of increase taxes or invent a new one the water charge. But once paid by the citizens it is thrown into the big box.

        • Elizabeth at 10:35 pm

          They said when VAT was increased originally that it was to fund local authorities, which included the provision of water and in 1997(I think) they passed a law directing part of the motor tax receipts to pay for the provision of water, so they stated what the monies were to be used for. Now VAT is not being reduced, neither is motor tax, we’re told to pay the new property tax(a tax unrelated to income or ability to pay) to fund the local authorities and now they are foisting the Water Tax on us, thereby ensuring that we’re paying twice for our local authorities and three times for our water.

          I think you summed up the governments’ view nicely though when you said “it is a matter of increase taxes or invent a new one the water charge”, for as you say it is indeed a new tax and a very regressive one in that it is not related to your income or ability to pay.

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