The capital cost of fitting water meters in all domestic households would amount to between £650 million and £950 million. It would cost something between £6.50 and £9.50 to service and read such meters. I cannot believe that such an imposition is possibly justified.
I have just said that we have no intention of encouraging the provision of meters in domestic households. Under the legislation passed by the previous Administration, authorities have the right to go in for metering, but I am glad to say that the Secretary of State has the right to prevent them from so doing if he wishes to do so.