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10th Sep 2017

If you’re expecting water charges back you might be waiting

According to Brendan Howlin, the health service must come first.

Darragh Berry

This doesn’t sound good.

A few days ago we were told that Irish Water is to refund water charges by the end of the year as confirmed by Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy.

However, Labour leader Brendan Howlin has suggested on Sunday that refunds from Irish Water should be delayed until 2018.

His reasoning for delaying the refunds until next year is to prioritise and guarantee that the health service is fully funded during the winter months.

Speaking at a Labour think-in in Athy, Howlin also said that he was for cutting taxes in the upcoming budget and pumping money into services.

According to The Irish Examiner, Howlin said that improving public services was on the top of his list in the hope of ending a “time of hardship.”

“Public infrastructure and that should be the priority, I don’t think there is space for tax reductions in that context,” he stated at the think-in.

“Those repayments have to be made, but I don’t think anybody would object to them being repayed next year rather than this year if that money is required to sustain our health services through November and December.”

At the moment, it is expected that almost all customers will be refunded before the end of the year. Exceptional cases will be processed in Quarter 1 2018.