Success at last on water bills: but still more to do – George
Commenting on the confirmation that Government will act to reduce sky high water bills in the South West, local MP Andrew George said that this wasn’t the end of the road for the campaign his Liberal Democrat colleagues and he had been waging for years. He said that more still needed to be done to put right the problem created for local water bill payers following the impact of the Tory privatisation of the service 20 years ago.
Tomorrow’s Autumn Statement will confirm that household customers will receive a £50 per annum rebate from 2013-14. This will be confirmed in Water legislation to be published on 7th December 2011.
However, further measures (Water Sure and Company Social Tariffs) which Mr George and his colleagues have been pressing for to help those in water poverty (i.e. where water bills make up at least 5% of their income) will be set out in the Water White Paper next week.
Mr George said, “Though it’s been a marathon campaign, it’s been worth it. Perhaps it’s appropriate that the Tories, who created this problem in the first place, should be given the chance to help put it right; though it’s been more than 20 years of pain for hard pressed customers before we could get a result!
“To be fair, at least the last Government began the process, having commissioned the Anna Walker review. Although progress was always painfully slow.
“Now we must work with Government Ministers to make sure that other measures are introduced genuinely to benefit those most in need; and that they don’t simply give a hand out to all including second home owners and leave those on low income still in relative water poverty.”