Consultation begins on options for introducing water and sewerage charges

Date published: 07 December 2023

Following a direction from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, on 20 September 2023, the Department for Infrastructure has launched a consultation today on options for introducing water and sewerage charges.

DfI Revenue Raising graphic

The Secretary of State has directed Northern Ireland Departments to launch public consultations on measures to support budget sustainability and raise additional revenue.

The consultation, which has had its content approved by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland provides an overview of potential water and sewerage charging revenue raising options which could be introduced in Northern Ireland, with a focus on those areas which would offer greatest value in helping to address the unsustainability of public finances.

It sets out and seeks views on the main pathways through which water and sewerage charging could be introduced, how a relief scheme to protect vulnerable people might be developed, and how charging might be billed and collected.

It also asks about three other revenue raising options: the removal of the domestic allowance for non-domestic customers; charging customers for domestic septic tank desludging; and recovering the cost of roads drainage from all customers.

The consultation document with full details of the options and how to provide your views is here

The consultation begins today and will run for 14 weeks from 7 December 2023, closing on 13 March 2024.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Secretary of State’s direction of 20 September to departments to launch consultations can be viewed here.
  2. In October, the Department of Finance published an overarching document to set out the financial context for the consultations. The document is available on the Department of Finance website
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure and on LinkedIn at Department for Infrastructure



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