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Water Charges (Direct Billing)

Volume 940: debated on Wednesday 30 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales, in considering his decision on direct billing of water charges, what estimates were given to him by the Welsh National Water Development Authority of (a) the commission currently paid to district councils, (b) the billing charge to be made under direct billing for council-owned properties, (c) the interest rate on which the value of earlier cash flow is evaluated, (d) the estimated total annual cost of direct billing, and (e) the fixed overhead charges which district councils will have hereafter to absorb themselves as a result of direct billing, and if, in the light of these, he will reconsider his decision to allow direct billing to go ahead.

The decision to extend direct billing to all their consumers was made by the Welsh National Water Development Authority. It was not necessary for it to provide me with the information which the hon. Member seeks, but we asked it to take account of the need to avoid any net increase in public expenditure as a whole.