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High proposed standing charge for water would hurt poorest households

Published 14/04/2014

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Age Action is concerned by media reports today that Irish Water is seeking the introduction of a standing charge – higher than the international average – for water services as part of the payment model due to be introduced next year.

Media reports suggest that the charge being sought would equate to one-third of the average annual household bill  -- or  about €100 per annum.  “The fact that the charge represents such a large percentage of the average bill does not augur well for the creation of a payment model which would protect low income households,” Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said.  “The provision of water is a basic human right and the payment model must recognise a person’s ability to pay.”

A high standing charge would have a greater impact on low income households.  Age Action is particularly concerned about the impact this would have on pensioners living alone, many of whom are already struggling to survive on a single pension. Over 30% of older people live alone in Ireland.

“A high standing charge would mean that before they even turn on the tap, low income pensioners would be hit,” Mr Timmins said. “We still do not know how many free units  the Government will allow before charges kick in, but if the Commission for Energy Regulation accepts Irish Water’s proposals for a high standing charge it will disproportionately hit those who can least afford to pay regardless of the free allocation.”

Age Action believes that, in addition to the free allocation of water units, an extra provision should be made for households where medical conditions mean that a person has a greater need for water.

The older people’s charity also believes that the model for estimating unmetered houses should take into consideration the number of people living in a home.  Age Action believes using the number of people living in a house to estimate water consumption would be the fairest way to protect older people living alone.

 

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Age Action Calls for €23 Increase in the State Pension

Budget 2023 Credit Frederica Aban

(Tuesday 26 July 2022) 

Budget 2023 – No Ordinary Budget for Extraordinary Times

Age Action Calls for €23 Increase in the State Pension

Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation on ageing and older persons, is calling for a €23 increase in the State Pension saying that Budget 2023 cannot be an ordinary budget. Age Action argues that Budget 2023 needs to deliver an evidence-based increase in the State Pension that is poverty-proofed and equality-proofed – a €23 increase in the State Pension is the minimum amount required to maintain the State Pension’s spending power. The reality of high price inflation is that the full rate contributory State Pension will lose €22.80 in spending power in 2022 and will further lose spending power in 2023 as inflation will still be high.