Date lodged: 6 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has reached a decision on when it will publish its principles of charging and objectives for the water industry’s 2021 to 2027 price control period, and whether it will alter the single person discount for water charges.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 7 March 2019
I have carefully considered the feedback received from customers and stakeholders during the recent consultation process as well as the comments received from representatives subsequently. I have also considered the impact of amending discounts during the transition to Universal Credit, the consequential impact on the effectiveness of Water Direct and the continued scrutiny of local taxation following the Barclay Review.
I will publish the final Principles of Charging and Ministerial Objectives as soon as they are complete and no later than June 2020, the date set out in the industry timetable. As I continue to refine that document I can confirm that I have concluded that the single person discount should not be amended for the period 2021-27. My officials will continue to work with industry stakeholders to determine how the Scottish Government can continue to keep customer charges as low as practicable and provide support for those members of society that are least able to afford those payments. I have further concluded that vacant domestic properties will, subject to further detailed implementation details being agreed, fall into charge in the period. I will continue to consider other changes including developer charging arrangements, improving rural supplies and supporting innovation to best drive sustainable economic growth.