The Affordability of Water and Sewerage Charges in Scotland

Fraser of Allander Institute; (2018) The Affordability of Water and Sewerage Charges in Scotland. [Report]

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    Abstract

    Water and sewerage charges are an expense for Scottish consumers. The average annual combined household charge was just under £350 in 2015/16. Water and sewerage bills are determined by council tax band, with higher banded properties paying progressively more than lower banded properties. The responsibility for billing and collecting water charges rests with local authorities, which collect water and sewerage charges alongside council tax and return to Scottish Water a share of the amount collected. The Scottish Government has established a Long-Term Charging Group (LTCG) to review charging policy for the (publicly owned) water industry. The purpose of this report is to identify the characteristics of households in Scotland that pay the most for water and sewerage charges as a proportion of income, and to consider options for targeting support at those households. It is anticipated that the report will inform the deliberations of the LTCG.