Hazzard – No domestic water charges as subsidies to NI Water are protected

Date published: 24 January 2017

Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard has ensured that NI Water will continue to receive funding to deliver vital public services without the need to introduce domestic water charges.

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The Minister brought forward the draft Grants to Water and Sewerage Undertakers Order 2017 to the Assembly today.

Minister Hazzard said:

“My Department pays NI Water a subsidy in lieu of domestic charging to enable it to maintain drinking water supplies and deliver sewerage services.

“Without funding, NI Water would quickly run out of money and these services, which are fundamental to public health, economic growth and environmental protection, would be put at risk.

“The current powers to pay the subsidy will expire on 31 March 2017 and the recent 2016 Water and Sewerage Services Act, passed by the Assembly in January last year, provided the power to extend this date by an Order laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the Assembly.

“The imminent dissolution of the Assembly means that I have had to bring the draft Order to the Assembly today as a matter of some urgency.  It will extend the power for my Department to pay the subsidy to NI Water in lieu of domestic water charges.”

In conclusion the Minister said: 

“I am committed to ensuring that water charging for domestic households is not introduced.  This view is shared by my Ministerial Colleagues.  I am pleased to say that the Order introduced today will help us to deliver on that commitment.”     

Notes to editors: 

Media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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