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Water Charges: South West Region

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the average proportion of household income spent on water bills in each county in the South West. (154767)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 20 September 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what estimate has been made of the average proportion of household income spent on water bills in each county in the South West. (154767)

Estimates of household expenditure and income are based on the Expenditure and Food Survey (EFS), which is based on a sample of approximately 7,000 households in the UK. Statistics on household expenditure are published in ‘Family Spending’, the latest edition of which was published on 18th January 2007 http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=361). An analysis of the household income data collected in the EFS also appears in the ONS analysis ‘The effects of taxes and benefits on household income’, the most recent analysis being published on 17th May 2007 (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/taxesbenefits). The survey sample is not sufficiently large to allow reliable results to be produced for counties. However, using the data underlying these reports, estimates have been calculated of the proportion of household income spent on water bills in the South West region, compared to the UK as a whole.

In 2005/06, average household expenditure on water charges was £329 per year for the South West compared to £277 for the UK. In the same year, the average household disposable income in the South West of England was £25,197, compared to £26,039 for the UK as a whole. So the proportion of disposable household income spent on water bills was 1.3% in the South West and 1.1% for the UK as a whole.