Water Charges | What You Told Us

Every month One Family invites a response to our short, 3 question survey. Our survey for September 2014 was in relation to the proposed water charges due to commence, at the time of writing, in January 2015. The aim of the survey was to find out how those parenting alone or sharing parenting feel about the charges and how they have been implemented to date.

A selection of survey responses include:

“I often skip dinner to ensure my son will have a dinner the next day. I am sick of counting slices of bread or watching in envy when someone gets to buy a newspaper. No idea where I am meant to find the money for another bill.”

“I live in an apartment and I still do not know how much I’ll have to pay. I can’t even budget or anticipate. My daughter spends 2 nights with her dad so don’t know if this will be taken into account or not. What if he was first with sending the pack to Irish Water and he claimed the allowance first?”

“I am a lone parent to 5 year old twin boys, stuck on rent allowance. I have a disability and I’ve recently had my heating cut off because I couldn’t afford the bill and now they want €220 to switch it back on which I can’t afford . Water charges will cripple this household altogether.”

“I am a single father with two young kids living with me nearly 50% of the time. I pay maintenance on top of this. I support them fully for 50% of the time and get no child benefit. The government have already taken a tax credit from me. This is an extra insult to single fathers like me. It is almost as if Fine Gael is deliberately making it too financially difficult for single fathers to co-parent.”

“I will have to reconsider working. I am a lone parent, I earn €450 per week. €110 a week rent, €120 a week childcare, other bills including electricity, broadband, mobile, heating, car expenses etc total €150. I have nothing left over and the water charges are the last straw for me. My job, which I love, may need to take a back seat.”

You can read the full Water Charges survey results here. Take this month’s survey on Reaction to Budget 2015 here, or view all of our monthly survey results.




Water Allowances for Children of Parents Sharing Parenting

One Family made a submission to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and Irish Water regarding affordability and allowances, and highlighted the issue of allocating children’s water allowances when people are sharing parenting equally. The proposed children(s) allowance(s) and charging suggests that these allowance(s) are allocated to the recipient of the children’s allowance which is provided for by the Department of Social Protection. This, in effect, in most cases is the mother which does not recognise the dynamics of the Irish modern family and reflect that children may spend significant time in the separate homes of their mothers and fathers.

Just and fair recognition must be given to the dynamics of Irish modern families when allocating allowances associated with children’s consumption of water and that a significant number of children will spend equally as much time in the home of their father and mother.

Our submission and recommendations can be read here.