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Non payment of bills, including Irish Water, will no longer carry threat of jail

NewsBy Sunday World
Jail will no longer be the last resort for debtors
Jail will no longer be the last resort for debtors

New proposals to deal with debt will be discussed by the Cabinet today, and threats of a prison term expected to be removed.

Independent.ie are reporting that the Government is to bring into legislation recommendations from the Law Reform Commission, recommendations that include the end of the jail option to pursue debtors in Ireland.

The new focus will be those who 'can't pay' and those who 'won't pay'.

Those who are deemed to be in the 'can't pay' category are to be offered various payment plans to pay off the debt.

Those deemed to be in the 'won't pay' category will be placed in a position where the money owed will be taken from their incomes, known as attachment orders.

"We can't sustain a situation whereby one person pays their bills but their neighbours get away with it," said a government strategist to the paper.

However, there is also a consideration for 'poverty protection' to ensure that those on social welfare do not have too much of their income removed.

In addition it is being reported that fines and penalties will not apply until 15 months after the bill was issued. That means that nobody will have any money taken by attachment orders from water bills until July 2016 at the earliest.