Businesses won't receive water and sewerage bills until July - Mallon
BUSINESSES in the north will not receive water and sewerage bills until July 2020, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has said.
A planned annual increase in the non-domestic water and sewerage tariff will also be deferred and reviewed in the Autumn.
The SDLP minister said the move is part of the efforts to lift additional burdens on businesses amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
“Today’s announcement to delay the issue of bills is a further demonstration of my commitment to do what I can to support our business community as we all make our way through this situation and as we plan to rebuild our economy in the months ahead,” said Ms Mallon.
“To make these changes possible and ensure NI Water’s cash flow, my department will be reprofiling its funding arrangements with the company for the coming months.
“I am pleased to have had the co-operation and support of other key stakeholders including the Utility Regulator and Consumer Council NI and I am hopeful that these measures will provide some relief to our business community.”
The Infrastructure Minister also paid tribute to the work of NI Water in maintaining services and support to customers during the ongoing pandemic.
NI Water’s director of finance and regulation, Ronan Larkin said: “We are acutely aware this is a challenging time for everyone and we do not want any business or non-domestic customer to feel extra pressure due to an increase in the tariff they pay for water and sewerage services.
“I appreciate that any bill at this time may be a challenge, so we have decided to temporarily postpone the issuing of all water and sewerage bills during April, May and June 2020.
“With many businesses now closed, or having significantly curtailed their activities, this will alleviate the concerns many may have had in relation to accessing and paying their bill.”