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Consumer watchdog warns that 114,000 households in Wales face ‘water poverty’

07 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Water tap (Image: Pixabay)

A consumer watchdog says that 114,000 households in Wales are struggling to pay water bills, resulting in some rationing water or cutting back on essentials.

The Customer Council for Water (CCW) say that current schemes to support those hardest hit are confusing, vary widely between companies and fail to provide the financial help that’s needed.

Andy White, a policy spokesperson for CCW, raises the issue in an article for the IWA, saying: “At present, it is estimated that about 114,000 households live in water poverty in Wales – spending more than five percent of their income after housing costs on water bills.

“Each of these households would need an average extra £138 bill reduction each year to lift them out of this situation. But the current social tariff schemes run by the country’s two main water companies only provide sufficient support to help 62,500 of these customers out of water poverty.”

Tariff

The group wants the Welsh and UK Governments to create a single social tariff that would ensure that no household has to spend more than 5% of its income, after housing costs, on water bills.

They also want the water companies to improve their levels of support, including the possibility of 100% discounts for those going through the Universal Credit application process.

“We now need the Welsh and UK governments to support legislative changes that would pave the way for a single social tariff. In the meantime we want water companies to work with us to implement our other recommendations,” Andy White states.

Water is a complex legislative area of devolution with company services having developed around river catchment areas rather than administrative borders.

Reforming water company borders to align them with the national border was one of the recommendations made in 2014 by the Commission on Devolution in Wales, better known as the Silk Commission.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

Or how about the Welsh government takes control of Wales’ water instead of foreign companies ripping us off with our own resources while people in England pay less for OUR WATER.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Isn’t welsh water not for profit?

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Really? Then these must be Severn Trent customers. Welsh Water has a famous commitment that no customer will be in water poverty. They have been spending millions living up to this promise.
I wonder why Severn Trent choose not to.

Mandi A
Mandi A
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Well said, my mum has her water bill capped so no matter how ill she is, she doesn’t pay more for her water. WW/DwrCymru is always responsive and pleasant to speak to on the phone and we are fortunate in Wales to have a not-for-profit company looking after our resources. Clue: it’s pouring outside, the rain is free, the management of it is not.

David
David
1 month ago

For a 2 person household money can be saved using a water meter.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Check out the calculations on Wesh Water website.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Water poverty? In Wales? How much longer will we tolerate the theft of our resources? Independence is the only way to prevent this.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

In this instance it refers to inability to pay bills I think, rather than flatland stealing our resources again.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

How many households in Wales, like mine, are not on mains water?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

The other side of Dwr Cymru over on the BBC, shame about our rivers…not for profit or swimming!

NRW get your act together…no wonder the boss looked so guilty on Mr Monbiot’s video of the Wye

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