The Ulster Farmers’ Union has said it’s unfair that farmers and other businesses continue to carry the burden of water charges for the whole of Northern Ireland. The comments were made following NI Water’s announcement that it will increase non-domestic water and sewage charges by 2.7%.
UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt said: “Water is a precious and valued commodity and it should be used responsibly by everyone. NI Water has said the increases are necessary but we feel it is discriminatory that farmers and other metered businesses have to cover these costs for the whole of the NI population.”
The UFU has long argued that everyone should pay for the water they use and that NI Water should introduce universal metering. “There are a number of advantages to universal metering, such as generating much needed funds for NI Water; more responsible water use by consumers; it would allow for leaks to be identified more readily; and NI Water would be able to ensure that all their customers were treated equally. However, without a functioning Executive and no departmental minister in place this is yet another issue that sits stagnant on the shelf,” said Chestnutt.