Despite receiving less than half of the water payment charges due for the first billing period, Irish Water has said that the figures represent a “solid start”. The organisation expects to take in €66.8m for this cycle, with €30.5m or 46% collected so far, although “payments for the first bill are still coming in.”
The second billing cycle is now underway – 640,000 water meters will be read in order to bill customers. Those that are unwilling to pay are being encouraged through the use of penalty sums – should a household fail to make payments over the course of the first billing year, a €30 (single person household) or €60 (all other households) penalty will apply.
Irish Water could also seek attachment orders to deduct money owed from welfare and wage payments, should the proposed Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015 be passed.
In other somewhat unexpected news, hotel prices are set to rise in anticipation of the Galway Races. That’s according to the latest Hotel Price Index from Trivago, which forecasts that prices will peak at €221 per night on Ladies’ Day (July 30th). The survey also notes that Irish prices have risen by 15% when compared with this time last year, 2% above the European average.
In Galway, average hotel prices have risen by 16% so far this month, with the Galway Races taking place from July 27th – August 2nd, the highest month-on-month rise in the country. The average cost to consumers to spend a night in the City of the Tribes is now a hefty €137.
“Though it is not unusual for hotel prices to rise sharply during sporting events, the price rises in Galway during the Galway Races are extreme, peaking at €221 for Ladies’ Day – an average rarely seen in Ireland and up 15% on Ladies’ Day in 2014,” said David Lintott, PR Trivago UK & Ireland.
Don’t pick up the phone
Meanwhile, Irish holidaymakers should be mindful of roaming charges when heading out of the country this summer. That’s according to the Irish Independent‘s Charlie Weston, who cites a study carried out for the paper that found that moderate use of a phone during a two week trip to the US could result in a bill of up to €2,400 for the unfortunate user, a figure that could easily get you a second hand car.
The research was carried out by Killbiller.com, an Irish start-up that provides consumers with a comparison of phone network costs around the world.