“Homeowners face an annual €40 standing charge for 20 years just to cover the cost of water meters. That is before they hand over a cent for the water they use.
“The Irish Independent has learned of fresh details about the standing charge which will be levied on 1.35 million homeowners.
“Environment Minister Phil Hogan intends the €40 annual bill to cover the cost of the water meter as well as installing and maintaining the new system.
“But a government spokesman tried to defuse the looming row over the charges pointing out that there will be no upfront bills.
“As the Opposition branded the contradictory statements over costs householders will face, ‘a communications fiasco’, the spokesman said that the political hare was off and running since the weekend confirmation that householders would have to pay several hundred euro for water meters.
“The prospect of paying a yearly charge for two decades will shock homeowners already forking out a range of fees.
“The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) is providing a loan of €450m for the water metering programme.”
Read more: Independent