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Water Rates

Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the increase in average water rates in each authority area in Scotland in 1985–86 over the preceding financial year.

Since domestic water rate poundages all decreased between 1984–85 and 1985–86 because of revaluation, I assume the hon. Member is seeking information about average domestic water rate bills. This is as follows:

Average household domestic water rate bills
Authority1984–85 £1985–86 £Difference £Difference per cent.
Borders25·8122·57-3·24-12·56
Central16·8818·882·0011·85
Dumfries and Galloway24·8024·57-0·23-0·93
Fife20·1425·074·9324·48
Grampian31·1934·132·949·43
Highland25·9626·010·050·20
Lothian24·6526·311·666·74
Strathclyde24·8126·271·465·89
Tayside20·2624·494·2320·88
Orkney28·6729·630·963·35
Shetland7·7412·034·2955·43
Western Isles24·2524·11-0·14-0·58
Scotland24·3226·241·927·90

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average water rate levied in each water board region and in the United Kingdom as a whole; and by how much those rates have increased in real terms since 1979.

[pursuant to his reply, 17 May 1985, c. 261]: Average domestic water charges in England and Wales are to be found in "The Water Industry" and domestic water rates in Scotland in "Rating Review", both published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and available in the Library. The figures north and south of the border are not however directly comparable.In England and Wales water charges pay for sewerage, sewage treatment and disposal, land drainage and certain environmental services as well as water supply. In Scotland, after taking account of direct charges to industrial and commercial consumers about two-thirds of the net expenditure on water supply is met from domestic water rates; the remaining one-third plus the expenditure corresponding to the expenditure on sewerage etc. contained in water charges in England and Wales is met from regional rates (general rates in the islands) assisted by rate support grant. The one-third of net water expenditure met from regional and general rates in Scotland is, broadly, for the use of water by public services, for example, the fire service, street cleansing and the like.In Northern Ireland water expenditure is included in the calculation of the regional rate for local government services collected by the Department of the Environment.