Having opened discussions earlier this year with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government1 on the need for a revised subsidy for the GWS sector, a delegation from the NFGWS met with Minister Eoghan Murphy on Wednesday (26th July) to impress upon him the need for equity for the group water scheme sector in the context of the Oireachtas decision to abolish domestic water charges on public water supplies (Irish Water).
Minister Murphy indicated that a formal review of the GWS operational subsidy will commence shortly, reflecting the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee report of the future funding of domestic water. Confirming his intention to bring legislation before the Dáil in September to give effect to the Oireachtas decision, Minister Murphy told the delegation that his Department is committed to progressing an equitable outcome for all domestic consumers including those on group water schemes as part of these deliberations. While informal discussions with senior Department officials are already underway, the delegation was informed that the formal review process must consider all domestic consumers not supplied by Irish Water.
Welcoming what he described as ‘a very positive engagement’, with the Minister, NFGWS Chairperson, Brendan O’Mahony said that group water schemes can ‘rest assured that the previously agreed principle of equity for group schemes vis-à-vis public supplies will be robustly defended in any subsidy review process’. He added: ‘Given the Minister’s clear assertion of support for that principle, I am convinced that a speedy and successful outcome to the review process will be agreed within a short timeframe.’
For further information please contact Brian MacDonald on 087 2028051.