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Labour demands £100 rebate to help households with rising water charges

Water bills are increasing in Scotland (PA)
Water bills are increasing in Scotland (PA)

Scottish Labour has called for action to prevent family finances being hit by “crippling” water charges.

Household water charges are rising by 4.2% in 2022/23, with a freedom of information request revealing Scottish Water had originally proposed an increase of 6.2% before a request for revision from ministers.

Scottish Water said it had made the revision with “deep concern”, warning prices could rise even higher as a result while households struggle against a cost-of-living crisis.

As part of its local election manifesto, Scottish Labour has called for a “water rebate” of £100 to help Scots pay their bills.

Deputy leader Jackie Baillie said it is “high time” such a payment was offered to households, claiming government in Holyrood and Westminster have “completely failed to act”.

Ms Baillie said: “Scottish households are facing the toughest cost-of-living crisis in years, with thousands shamefully being forced to choose between heating and eating.

“Faced with this crisis, the SNP and Tory governments have completely failed to act to protect family finances.

“While Nicola Sturgeon tours Scotland on her ‘cost-of-living express’ bus, thousands of households are being landed with crippling water charges.

Scottish Parliament
Jackie Baillie said the SNP and the Tories have failed to protect family finances (Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA)

“With hundreds of millions of pounds languishing in Scottish Water’s cash stash, it is high time that this money was used to give Scots a £100 water rebate.

“Scottish Water is entirely the responsibility of the Scottish Government. Ministers could act now to protect family finances and prevent even further hikes in water charges over the next few years.”

SNP MSP Elena Whitham said: “The SNP Scottish Government has ensured that while UK-wide energy prices rise beyond inflation, the increase to water charges in Scotland for 2022-23 has been set at 4.2% – below inflation.

“In Scotland, the average water charges remain lower than the average in other parts of the UK – in 2021-22 the average charge in Scotland is £375, compared to £408 in Tory-run England and Labour-run Wales.

“The SNP Scottish Government also increased the water charges reduction scheme discount from 25% to 35% to protect those at the sharpest end of the Tory made cost-of-living crisis.”

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