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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
'Way forward' over water charges
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There may be no additional water charges until April 2009
Ministers have agreed a way forward on water charges for Northern Ireland. It is thought this may involve deferring the charges for a year.

However, there is still no agreement on all the elements of a recent independent review on water.

It said households should not pay any water charges until April 2009.

The General Consumer Council said the report's proposed average household bill in 2009 would be 120, instead of the 334 envisaged under direct rule.

These charges would be in addition to the 160 on average already paid for water and sewage services through rates.

The review of water charging was carried out by a team led by Professor Paddy Hillyard.

Water charges were discussed at an NI Executive meeting on Thursday.

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy is set to outline to assembly members next week a new way forward on the issue of funding water and sewerage services.

He said: "In relation to the Hillyard Report people will be aware that the Executive committed itself to the undoing of any plans for the privatisation of the water and sewerage services.

"We also wanted to tackle what most people considered to be the injustice of having to pay twice, a double taxation for water and sewerage services.

"In that context, the executive considered strand one of this report. We have agreed a way forward which I think presents a much fairer deal for those involved and I will making a statement to the assembly."



SEE ALSO
Water bills for NI in 18 months
12 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
Water bill should be put on rates
10 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
Executive moves on NI water bills
10 May 07 |  Northern Ireland

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