Water charge refunds to dominate Cabinet meeting

Two pieces on water charges are among laws being considered

Water charge refunds to dominate Cabinet meeting

Drinking water is poured into a glass in Cologne, Germany | Image: Oliver Berg/DPA/PA Images

Refunding almost one million people water charges is set to dominate the Cabinet meeting today.

The Government needs the Dáil to pass legislation in the next month in order to get the refunds to most people before Christmas.

The legislative agenda for the autumn Dáil session is up for discussion.

Twenty-six acts have been finalised this year - half of them in a final flurry in July.

However some ministers have yet to pass any legislation.

Two pieces on water charges are among several new laws being considered.

One needs to be passed by mid-October to send refund cheques to Irish Water customers.

The other is a piece that lays out an excessive usage charging regime to keep Ireland on-side with Europe.

Other topics will be judicial appointments and drink-driving.

It was announced earlier this month that some 990,000 Irish Water customers are due to receive refunds.

Minister Eoghan Murphy confirmed that once legislation providing for refunds is in place, refunds will begin.

He said it is expected all customers will be refunded before the end of the year, but some "exceptional cases" will be processed early next year.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government says domestic water services account holders with Irish Water will be automatically refunded by way of a cheque.

There is no application process involved and customers do not need to do anything.

It says customers only need to contact Irish Water if their details need to be updated.

Irish Water is also running an information campaign to inform customers on the next steps.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann