To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what the percentage rise in average water rates for Great Britain has been between 1979 and the latest date available in (a) cash terms and (b) real terms.
Average household bills of the English water authorities have increased by 134 per cent. in cash terms and 35 per cent. in real terms, between the charging periods 1979–80 and 1987–88, reflecting the rising trend of capital expenditure and the improvement in self-financing ratios. Charges for water services in Scotland and Wales are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales respectively.