Alan Kelly was speaking on his way into this morning's special Cabinet meeting on the measures he's due to announce to the Dáil later.
The package - which is likely to cap charges at 160 euro - is also likely to include compliance measures - and the possibility of court appearances for those who don't pay.
Minister Alan Kelly says all will be revealed later - but he says there's nothing "harsh" about the charge package.
Siptu officials will meet management at Irish Water later after the company announced bonuses are being put on hold.
The performance related payments for 2013 and 2014 are now subject to a review.
The union represents about a quarter of Irish Water employees.
Spokesman Adrian Kane isn't ruling anything out when it comes to fighting his members' corner at Irish Water.