Ofwat must stick to its guns and say no to Thames water price hike

Hughes: Ofwat must stick to its guns and say no to Thames Water price hike

Ofwat has announced that it has made a provisional decision not to allow Thames Water's request to increase its charges for 2014-15.

Ofwat will make a final decision in November, but has today concluded that there is no case for Thames Water's request to increase prices by approximately 8%, which would add £29 to the annual household bill. Thames Water is arguing that it needs to increase prices to offset costs incurred from bad debt, land purchases for the Thames Tideway scheme, and increases in Environment Agency charges.

Commenting on the announcement, Simon Hughes, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said:

'I find it shocking and sad that, when families across London are being squeezed by the ever rising costs of living, Thames Water are tightening their grip and attempting to squeeze family budgets even more.

The Thames Tunnel, if it receives the green light to go ahead, could have been paid for by Thames Water without asking every one of their rate payers to make significant extra payments for years into the future. The regulator will be entirely justified in turning down this proposal for another Thames Water price hike.

Today's announcement is of course only the provisional decision. I strongly urge Ofwat to stick to their guns, stand up for the consumer, and say no to Thames Water's price hike. And I urge families in my Southwark constituency and across the Thames Water region to make their views equally as clear to the regulator immediately so that we get the final decision Thames Water customers deserve.'