bec, the group that represents Irish business, today voiced concerns about the Expert Water Commission's recommendation that domestic water and waste water services should be funded almost entirely from general taxation.
Dr Neil Walker, Ibec's Head of Infrastructure, said "Irish businesses fully recognise the need for investment in clean secure water supplies and waste water treatment. They are willing to pay a fair share of the overall cost, but they cannot be expected to cross subsidise domestic users.
"There is no guarantee that future Governments will continue to fund the high level of capital investments that will surely be needed to deliver world class water infrastructure. The utility will be competing with a lot of other essential services for Exchequer resources."
"The absence of user charges will reduce the incentive for households to conserve water. In the longer term, this will impose additional capital and operating costs that Irish Water will need to recover. It also raises the prospect of infringement proceedings by the European Commission.
"The effective elimination of domestic water charges may be politically expedient, but it has the potential to hinder much-need investment in the creaking infrastructure."