Refund Cheques On Standby As Dáil Votes Through Law To End Water Debacle

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Water charge refund cheques are a step closer to being printed and put in the post.

The piece of law enabling the refunds has passed the Dáil by 71 votes to 39.

It now goes to the Seanad and the Government has requested an early signature from President Michael D Higgins.

Just under a million refunds are due, with Irish Water claiming it can produce 30,000 cheques a day, and they’re ready to press print as soon as the law is signed.

However, not everyone is likely to get their refund before Christmas because of Oireachtas delays.

The law enabling the refunds passed the Dail this morning but now has to go through the Seanad, while the government has requested an early signature from the President.

However, there are 990,000 cheques to print and the delays here means they cannot guarantee everyone will receive their refund by Christmas.

The result came after several hours of debate and many proposed amendments.

Housing and Local Government Minister, Eoghan Murphy, told the Dáil: “Once this Bill passes both houses we’ll be able to begin the process of issuing refunds to as many households as possible.”

“Regrettably it will not be possible to get them to all households before Christmas.”

Mr Murphy hit out at opposition TDs arguing they were responsible for the delay in passing the legislation.

Minister Eoghan Murphy says the Water Services Bill is ‘not a victory for the people’ but for politicians who wanted to score points on the government.

He pointed to the number of speeches repeated at various stages during the process and the number of amendments that were tabled and refused but submitted again.