Magazine article Public Finance

Consumer Council Criticises Compulsory Water Meter Plan

Magazine article Public Finance

Consumer Council Criticises Compulsory Water Meter Plan

Article excerpt

Environment Agency plans to impose water meters on all households would harm those least able to pay, critics say.

In a report published on March 30, The water resources strategy for England and Wales, the agency called for universal metering to help avert water shortages caused by climate change.

Meters should be introduced by 2015 in water-stressed areas such as the Southeast, and across the country by 2050, the report said.

But Dame Yve Buckland, chair of the Consumer Council for Water, told Public Finance: 'What they are asking for - water metering at a fast pace - is entirely wrong in the circumstances.'

She acknowledged that metering was widely considered by consumers to be the fairest way of charging for water, but said the policy would adversely affect the most vulnerable customers.

'What meters flush out are the poorest - those least able to change their behaviour and use less water, either because they've got a large family, or due to other circumstances such as medical conditions. …

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