Winter scene at Glen Finlas above Glen Fruin and Loch Lomond. Pictures by Bill Heaney

Hike in water charges amid coronavirus crisis will bring misery for struggling families, says MSP Baillie

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie has said that a new, unacceptable increase in water charges will force thousands of families into a ‘cost of living crisis’.

The Water Industry Commission has confirmed its intention to put customers on a 20-year, two per cent above inflation price escalator.

This decision threatens to increase water charges for households by over £100 over the next six years alone and will more than double in the next 20 years. Water charges are set to rise to an average of £489.53 by 2027/28 with some Council Tax bands being charged over £900.

The price rises escalator proposed by the regulator will force water prices above the £600 annual cost barrier for those who pay least; break the £1000 annual cost barrier for those in the middle; and the £1,800 annual cost barrier for those who pay most. 

Scottish Labour has said that the decision to hike prices in the midst of an economic crisis was ‘grossly irresponsible’ and has condemned the SNP government for doing too little to help consumers and businesses as water prices spiral upwards.

Scottish Labour deputy leader and finance spokesperson Jackie Baillie, left,  said: “This bombshell price hike courtesy of the SNP will hit millions deep in their pockets at a time when household finances are under threat like never before.

“Thousands of Scottish families are facing a cost of living crisis and are struggling to make ends meet. It is grossly irresponsible that they will be hit in the pocket to pay for the failings of the Scottish government.   

“It is time for the SNP to stop twiddling its thumbs and intervene to prevent thousands of families being pushed further into financial debt.”

Annual projected charges are laid out in the table below 

Source: Scottish Parliament Information Centre

  Luss Water – a gift from nature being exploited by public authorities.

Cash terms(b)  Real terms,
2020-21 prices(b) 
Annual charge for water supply and waste water collection  Projected charges  Projected charges  Projected charges  Projected charges  
2020-21  2027-28  2040-41  2027-28  2040-41 
Band A  298.74   393.12   654.58   343.16   443.91  
Band B  348.53   458.64   763.67   400.35   517.90  
Band C  398.32   524.16   872.77   457.54   591.88  
Band D  448.11   589.68   981.86   514.74   665.87  
Band E  547.69   720.72   1,200.06   629.12   813.84  
Band F  647.27   851.76   1,418.25   743.51   961.81  
Band G  746.85   982.80   1,636.44   857.90   1,109.78  
Band H  896.22   1,179.36   1,963.73   1,029.48   1,331.74  
Average (a)  372.00   489.53   815.10   427.31   552.77  


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