The introduction of water charges has become the answer easiest to some people's lips in terms of the Northern Ireland's budget issues. However, it is not surprising that 64% of the population opposes their rapid introduction. Beyond the fear for the future driving this view there is hard economic reality that inflation is hammering household budgets. For the 10th month in a row inflation is above the government target of 2% with it stuck at 3.1%. With many having salaries cuts or frozen then this is a significant decline in disposable income.