asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the increases in water charges in certain parts of the United Kingdom, he will reconsider the introduction of a rate rebate to low-income consumers.
No. I have nothing to add to the reply given by my hon. Friend the member for Stockport, South (Mr. Orbach) on 18th April.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the duty on local authorities to offer ratepayers the right to pay by 10 instalments also extends to regional water authorities which have decided to adopt direct billing of customers; and, if not, whether he will seek to amend the Water Act 1973 to achieve this.
Water authorities are already able to accept payment of charges by instalments; I look to the authorities to treat sympathetically requests for such facilities from people who would otherwise suffer hardship.