Varadkar says water charges will be refunded before end of year

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Households who have paid the charges can expect to get as much as €325 back from Irish Water as Varadkar's new Government looks set to finally put the matter to bed.

Back in April, the Oireachtas Water committee made a decision to scrap water charges, approve refunds and reject mandatory metering of new builds.

TheJournal.ie reported this week that officials are in negotiations with the European Commission for a special deal to pay around €160 million in water charge refunds.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Varadkar said payments will begin before the Budget is announced. "I anticipate that everybody will have their money back before the end of the year".

Government sources confirmed this, saying that the majority of refunds should be processed by the end of the year. "But we intend to do it in the autumn".

The Taoiseach said that he hoped to start the refund process by autumn but admitted that it was a logistical issue that Irish Water would have to handle. "It's not going to be a Budget announcement".