We recently ran a story about how energy prices were set to rise for millions of people come April. Well, it appears that April is to be a bad month for millions more Brits as many water providers admit that the average water and sewage bill in England and Wales will rise by over 2 per cent in a couple of months.
The extra money that households will pay will go towards services such as preventing water leakages, improving water quality and cleaning up rivers, apparently.
According to the powers that be in this sector, water companies will look to plough more than £7.5million into the water industry and will put the additional income from raised water bills towards spending to improve services. It is anticipated that over £52billion will be spent between now and 2025 and this will give people a better water service, both in terms of quality and efficiency.
Whilst the above rate rise may not sound much in the grand scheme of things; it is yet another hit to people's pockets. On its own, a two per cent rise doesn't sound like it is going too hurt anyone. But when you factor in that we are going to see a surge in energy prices in the same month, and we are battling sluggish wage growth and other heightened costs such as fuel and groceries, it all adds up.
Yet again, we are sceptical as to the need for the rises - and what the extra income will eventually be spent on. We should be thrilled that our rates are going towards cutting water leaks by 15 per cent, surely? Well, no, we're not. And here's why. Firstly, we have learned that part of our rate rise will go towards 'supporting people who find it difficult to pay bills'. What this statement actually means is that everyone's water bill is going up to subsidise those who don't pay their bill on time - money provided to this sector is to rise 90 per cent — what a joke.
Then there is the history of high executive pay in this industry. OFWAT, which is the regulator for this sector, has blasted water companies about their business behaviour before, which included warnings for unimpressive performance, poor strategic plans and high wages for office staff - especially bosses.
We think it's clear to see where the two per cent rate rise will be going.