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STATEMENT: River Action responds to rising water bills

Responding to the news that the average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales will rise by 6% or about £27 to £473 a year from April 1, CEO of River Action James Wallace said:

“While support for lower income households is welcome, when the water industry says £14.4 billion will be invested by water companies what they really mean is most of the money will be paid by customers, again. 

 “Ultimately the Government is to blame for allowing water companies to profiteer while manipulating water pricing downwards over the past 14 years, creating a false illusion of cheap water, without even considering the costs of inflation. 

 “The suggestion that customers should pay more for water will be a very tough message to sell when the bills they have already paid water companies have been squandered on shareholder dividends and CEO bonuses rather than investing in maintaining leaky infrastructure. 

 “Why should the public pay twice for the modernisation and maintenance of sewage treatment and water resources? What assurances will the Government provide to ensure customer money is actually spent on promised water security and cutting pollution? Having overseen corporate daylight robbery for years, rebuilding trust will be key. 

 “And when will this Government commit to restructuring failing water companies and reform and refund the ragged skeletal remains of the Environment Agency and Ofwat? The freshwater emergency demands immediate systemic change to avert widespread ecocide and water shortages that will affect millions.”


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