Scottish Water charges to increase 4.2 per cent amid warning of future rises

Charges for household water and waste water in Scotland will increase by 4.2 per cent for the next year.

The rise is in line with the CPI inflation figure for October 2021.

It means water charges, which are collected alongside council tax, will increase an average bill by 31p per week.

Scottish Water, the public company accountable to ministers that is responsible for providing water and sewerage services, supplies some 2.6 million households in Scotland.

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It says prices will need to rise further in future years.

Net zero secretary Michael Matheson said: "We remain committed to supporting people facing issues paying their water bills.

"While UK-wide energy prices rise beyond inflation, in Scotland the increase to water charges for 2022/23 has been set at 4.2 per cent – in line with inflation.

"In developing the charging principles for the industry for 2021-27, ministers took the decision to increase the levels of support for those vulnerable customers who have the most difficulty paying.

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The charges for water come through the council tax in Scotland.

"The water charges reduction scheme discount has increased from 25 per cent to 35 per cent, protecting thousands of eligible households from higher charges.

"Households in receipt of the full water charges reduction scheme discount will actually pay less than they did in 2020/21.

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"Our average water charges remain lower than the average in other parts of the UK. In 2021/22 the average charge in Scotland is £375, compared to £408 in England and Wales."

Douglas Millican, chief executive of Scottish Water, said: "We have been recognised as leading in the water sector in the UK on customer service excellence, the quality of Scotland's drinking water remains very high, and we are investing to protect the environment from pollution.

"Higher levels of investment are needed to protect services now and over the long term, particularly in meeting the challenges of more intense rainfall, flooding, and drought, and reducing carbon emissions.

"We understand there needs to be a balance between the need for higher levels of investment and the financial challenges faced by households at the present time.

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"We have set charges at a level that takes account of those challenges while being open and clear that charges will need to increase further in future years."