Water Debt question in FMQs

Mark asked a question during First Minister’s Questions regarding the level of water debt in Wales on Tuesday 23rd October.

 

Dydd Mawrth, 23 Hydref 2012
Tuesday, 23 October 2012

 

Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am lefel y ddyled dwr yng Nghymru.

[Will the First Minister make a statement on the level of water debt in Wales.]

 

The First Minister: Yes, water debt is the result of customers not paying their water bills, the cost of which has to be covered by all customers. Currently the cost of water debt adds approximately £15 to £20 to every customer’s bill. 

 

Mark Drakeford: The level of water debt in Wales and across England has risen steadily as rises in prices have exceeded rises in wages and in benefits. Companies waste vast amounts of money every year in pursuing debt among customers who have no chance at all of paying their bills, and then writing it off. An affordable social tariff would be good for companies and customers. Are these ideas that you will be keeping in mind in the Welsh Government as a social tariff for water is being developed in Wales? 

 

The First Minister: Yes, indeed. We are currently finalising our social tariff guidance, which we intend to publish in November. The guidance aims to reduce charges for water customers who have difficulties paying their bills. In addition, we are developing a consultation on bad debt regulations, which we intend to publish by the end of the year.