Inland Waterways: Pollution

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 9 February 2024.

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Photo of Charlotte Nichols Charlotte Nichols Labour, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to pause utility prices for water companies that discharge pollutants into waterways.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has been clear that consumer bills should never reward pollution: if water companies do not deliver on their infrastructure commitments, then money is returned to billpayers. For example, in September, Ofwat announced financial penalties for several water companies, totalling £114 million, following underperformance in areas such as water supply interruptions, pollution incidents and customer satisfaction. This money will be rightly returned to customers through reduced water bills in 2024-25.

We want to see a step-change in the water sector, and this will require tough decisions for the long term. New infrastructure will need to be paid for, and while water companies can attract private investment, this will also need to come from customer bills.

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