Sunday, 14 April 2019 22:32



New figures from the SNP show that household bills in Scotland are over 12% lower than in England and Wales – where the water industry was privatised by the Tories and meant to be regulated by the current Tory government.  

The average annual household water charge in Scotland is £369, while the privatised water industry in England and Wales charges an average bill of £415; and the increase year on year is higher in England and Wales than Scotland.

Water charges in England and Wales have also soared above the cost of the living – rising by 2.5% despite the latest CPI inflation indicator increasing by only 1.9%. Meanwhile, increases in water charges north of the border sit below inflation at 1.7%.

Commenting, Tom Arthur MSP said:

“Yet again we have more evidence of the Tory hypocrisy on tax. These latest figures on water bills further expose that hypocrisy and show what the public get with Tory policies. In contrast to their rhetoric, the facts show their policies are a greater burden on the cost of living for ordinary people.

“They also underline the SNP commitment to protecting household budgets – by keeping Scottish Water in public hands we’ve ensured that bills are consistently lower than the spiralling costs in the privatised industry that serves England and Wales. These figures show Scotland’s better off with the SNP.

“Not only are people in Scotland paying less, they are also benefiting from some of the highest quality water in the world. In contrast, the Tories were only too eager to sell out the water industry south of the border to private corporations.

“The SNP remain resolutely committed to keeping this key public service in public hands and ensuring value for money for Scotland’s water consumers.”



1. The Parliamentary Question is as follows:

Question S5W-21957: Tom Arthur, Renfrewshire South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/03/2019: To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on the latest average household water bill in (a) Scotland and (b) England and Wales.

Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/03/2019): Scottish Water publishes its average charges, as well as a comparison table with England and Wales, on its website at . This shows figures for 2018-19 at a) £363 for Scotland; and b) £405 for England & Wales.

The average charge in Scotland for 2019-20 has been already been announced and can be found at . Initial information on the average charge in England and Wales in 2019-20 is available at . Latest figures show a) £369 for Scotland; and b) £415 for England & Wales.

2. Comparative changes are as follows:

  2018-19 2019-20 Change % Change
Scotland £363 £369 £6 +1.7%
England & Wales £405 £415 £10 +2.5%
Difference (E&W - Scot.) £42 £46 £4 +9.5%
% Difference +11.6% +12.5% +66.7%  

3. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 1.9% last month. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) was 2.4%, down from 2.5% in January.

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