WATER CHARGES: MSP says price hike plan will see domestic water charges double over next 20 years

By Democrat reporter

Scotland’s water regulator has been accused of price hike plans that will add up to £1000 to council tax bills in West Dunbartonshire over the next 20 years.Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie, pictured right, has said the “staggering” proposals will result in charges for some households doubling.

It comes after a report from the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) was published earlier this month in a bid to pay for £1billion of improvements to an ageing Victorian infrastructure.

The body sets the boundaries for the amount Scottish Water can add to council tax bills each year.

Baillie said: “The water regulator has now confirmed staggering rises in charges by forcing Scottish customers on to a 20-year price escalator from which there is no escape.

“Charges are set to rise by more than 25 per cent in the coming six years and by more than 100 per cent in 20 years.

“It will mean average charges going up by over £450 extra a year.

“At Council Tax Band D, the increase would be over £500 a year extra and at Band H over £1000 extra a year.

“At a time when families in Scotland are facing harsh economic times because of Covid, this is a real kick in the teeth, with the regulator trying to hide the true costs to customers by failing to publish the sums they will pay.

MSP says price hike plan will see domestic water charges double over next 20 years“The Scottish Government is ducking its responsibilities toward Scottish Water. It is passing all the costs of the climate emergency on to water charge payers, cutting its own share of Scottish Water’s funding by two-thirds and using water customers as a handy bank to fund their policies. This all adds up to a staggering 100 per cent-plus rise in customer charges.

“That is why I am calling on the Scottish Government not to allow any charge rises during Covid and the recovery from it and to review the way Scottish Water is funded.”

A WICS spokesman said: “The pandemic has underlined the importance of a reliable, high-quality water system. Failing to invest more risks declining standards, failing to tackle climate change and, ultimately, higher bills.

“Our proposals would see charges capped at two per cent above inflation, a maximum of £9 extra a year on the average bill for six years. Prices for 2027-33 are indicative only and will be regularly reviewed in context of developing understanding of net zero costs and the condition of assets.

“We will review consultation responses before publishing our final determination in December.”

Douglas Millican with SNP environment minister Roseanna Cunningham.

Scottish Water’s £366,000-a-year chief executive Douglas Millican said: “We’ve worked closely with WICS over the last few years on the future of our sector and the essential services we provide customers and communities so we welcome the publication of the draft determination.

“We face significant challenges, not least as a result of climate change and our ageing infrastructure, to maintain the level of service we provide to customers and communities.”

The Scottish Government said: “In some circumstances – depending on the rate of inflation – charges could increase by a cumulative total of around £1000 by the end of a 20-year period but only for Band H houses, the highest band, which make up only one per cent of all households.”

 

One comment

  1. Scottish Water is being shaped up for privatisation.

    Take a look at the complexion of the board. Full of bankers and oil industry executives.

    And Scottish Water is now split into four holding companies – one of which does it’s business in the international market.

    Bet you very few people know Scottish Water trades in Australia, New Zealand, Malawi, Canada and beyond.

    All ready for the UK Internal Market Bill to go live post our exit from Europe.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: