To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the (a) potential effect of increased water rates on people with (i) Chrones and (ii) similar conditions who use more water than the average household and (b) requirement to put in place plans for those people in the event of such an increase; and if he will make a statement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he is planning for an increase in water rates; and if he will make a statement.
The Government-mandated tariff, WaterSure, is in place to support customers on low incomes who have unavoidably high water usage, due to either a qualifying medical condition or having three or more children under 19. Eligible customers must be on a water meter and in receipt of a means tested benefit, and they or someone living in the household must have the qualifying medical condition. This includes Crohn’s. All water companies must offer the tariff.
Water bills are rigorously safeguarded by Ofwat, the industry’s independent economic regulator, through five-yearly price reviews, which set an overall cap on the total amount that each water company may recover from their customers. Ofwat expects the average real water and sewerage bill to fall 5% from 2015 - 2020, and potentially up to 10% by 2025.
The Government’s 2017 strategic policy statement to Ofwat challenged the water industry to do more for vulnerable customers.