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Warning as water bills rise

Poor will be hardest hit say campaigners


The tap on the Wickes water butt

Some taps are stiff and uncomfortable

People on low incomes will struggle to keep up with this month’s water rate price hikes, according to campaigners.

Water bills rose by up to 10 per cent when the price rises came into effect yesterday and households across England and Wales face average increases of £20 per year.

An average 7 per cent rise masks regional variations in price hikes across the different water companies.

Severn Trent customers will see their bills go up by 5.7 per cent compared with 10.1 per cent for South West Water customers.

Average water bill

The average water bill for 2007-08 will be £312 for households in England, rising to an average £363 for households in Wales.

Dame Yve Buckland, Chairman of the Consumer Council for Water, said: ‘Although water costs each household less than a pound a day on average, many consumers on low and fixed incomes will struggle to keep up with these bill rises.’

The price hikes were announced by water industry regulator Ofwat last month.

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