The Independent features IEA comment

UK household water bills will increase by an average of 3.5% and as much as 5.5% in some regions. With the average salary increasing by less than 2% last year it is no surprise that Britons are becoming increasingly worried about this squeeze on family finances and the pressure this puts on debts.

Ofwat, the water industry regulator, claimed that these rises in price are needed to finance investment in water and sewage treatment and mains work and that inflation is driving these increases.

“Over-regulation is the main factor driving up prices,” said Dr Richard Wellings of the IEA.

“Ever-increasing environmental and water quality standards, many resulting from EU directives, have forced companies to invest tens of billions in new infrastructure and pass on the cost to consumers. Removing barriers to competition in the water industry would also help consumers.”

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