Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Ceisteanna (144)

Billy Timmins

Ceist:

211 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position of schools which have received bills for water rates; the way the amount is calculated; if schools are exempt from this payment; if not, in view of the fact that most schools have to fundraise to keep going, a waiver can be granted for this levy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8074/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The national water pricing policy framework requires local authorities to recover the cost of providing water services from the users of these services, with the exception of households using the services for domestic purposes. In this regard the policy framework provides for the metering of all non-domestic users by 2006. This is in accordance with an appropriate application of the polluter pays principle and the requirements of Article 9 of the EU water framework directive. It builds on the already widespread practice of charging for water services.

The framework does not provide for the exemption of any non-domestic users, including those engaged in the provision of educational services, from the charging policy. While my Department does not collect information on the calculation of individual charges, the policy framework provides only for the recovery of actual costs and charges should be determined having regard to this principle.