Meeting wanted to discuss water price hikes

An emergency meeting has been called by Mullingar Chamber of Commerce to discuss water price hikes that could cripple a number of Irish businesses, reports the Westmeath Examiner.

The meeting is wanted following Westmeath County Council’s decision to increase water rates from 94.5 cent per cubic meter to €1.19 plus additional charge of €1.26 for waste water.

Paul O’Brennan, Mullingar Chamber president, told the newspaper: “The waste water charge is absolutely new, it has never been there before. If you take the two together you go from 94 cent to 245 cent, it’s somewhere between 250 and 260 per cent.

“It could be a make or break situation for many businesses who are already under huge pressure.”

He added that the council would also be unable to calculate exactly the amount of waste water being created by individual businesses.

In addition, the Chamber plans to run a survey of the businesses in Westmeath to establish their individual use of water.

Meanwhile, water charges may need to be introduced in Ireland if the country is to improve its water situation, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan recently stated.

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