May 26, 2021

Millions cannot afford water bills, says watchdog

Some people have even had to skip meals to pay for water, the Consumer Council for Water said. According to the CCW, there are about 1.7 million people in "Water poverty", which it defines as having to spend more than 5% of their income after housing costs on water bills. These include people on Universal Credit, where any small shocks to their income could tip them over the edge, said Andy White, senior policy manager at CCW. He said about 260,000 people were getting help with their bills from a patchwork of social schemes run by water companies. "CCW chief executive Emma Clancy said:"We have a golden opportunity to create a simpler and fairer system and end the indignity of people skipping meals or other essentials to pay their water bill. "CCW's proposal to establish a single social tariff would help make water bills affordable for all households on low incomes."

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