13th October 2004


<p>The General Consumer Council today responded to a leaked memo from the Department for Regional Development indicating that Government is considering delaying the introduction of new water charges in Northern Ireland.</p>

Eleanor Gill, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: “The Consumer Council welcomes the fact that this leaked memo demonstrates necessary and good governance within the Department for Regional Development. It is incumbent on the Government to continuously reassess its ability to meet this complex water reform agenda against tight timescales and increasing negative public response to its proposals.

“It is the considered and continued view of the Consumer Council that it is necessary for Northern Ireland water consumers to have good legislation rather than hasty legislation. We would continue to urge the Government to take all the necessary time it needs to reflect on their proposals and to consider the views of ourselves and others. This will save us all time and money in the long term and gain greater confidence from consumers and their representatives. It is essential that any new way of paying for water and sewage must be fair to all consumers who can afford to pay and provide adequate protection for those who can least afford to pay. The Consumer Council will immediately engage with the Department for Regional Development in discussions about the issues in the leaked memo.”

  1. General Consumer Council media contact: Susie Brown, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail, [email protected]
  2. The General Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland's consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.
  3. For more information, visit our website at www.gccni.org.uk