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Detail of outcome
Water is an essential of life and the UK Government is committed to fair and affordable water and sewerage services which incentivise environmentally responsible behaviour.
The previous Government commissioned an independent review of charging for household water and sewerage services - The Walker Review - which examined the effectiveness and fairness of current and alternative methods of charging to ensure that England and Wales has a sustainable and fair system of charging in place. The Review’s final report and recommendations were published in December 2009. In our coalition agreement we pledged to examine the conclusions of this review and reform the water industry to ensure protection of the poorest households.
The Budget on 23 March said that “the Government is committed to supporting households who face water affordability pressures and households in areas with particularly high water bills, such as the South West. The Government will consult shortly on proposals to address water affordability. This will include reforms to the existing WaterSure scheme, the approach to company social tariffs and options for additional government spending to provide further support”. This consultation delivers on this commitment.
This consultation document invited views on:
- Water affordability: some proposed changes to the current WaterSure tariff including funding this from public expenditure, plus what the UK Government guidance to water companies on company social tariffs might cover; and
- The South West: taking account of Ofwat’s advice, this section sets out options that could reduce the bills of all households in the South West region and those with specific water affordability problems.
The Government will take account of responses received in the preparation of the forthcoming Water White Paper.
Responses to the consultation
A summary of the consultation responses can be viewed below.
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