Ofwat’s decision today to block Thames Water’s planned price rise of £29 next year has been welcomed. London Assembly Labour Environment spokesperson, Murad Qureshi, whose arguments to Ofwat against the price rise were cited in today’s decision notice has described the decision as “100% correct.”
Thames Water had planned to increase water bills for millions of households in London by £29 in order to fund the new London “super sewer”. However, Ofwat’s decision today means that the water bill increases will no longer go ahead as they stated: “Our conclusion is that Thames Water’s application does not…exceed 10% of appointed business turnover. On this basis, our final determination is that the existing price limits for 2014-15 should not be adjusted.”
In their decision notice Ofwat quoted Mr Qureshi’s argument that it is “grossly inappropriate for Thames Water, as a monopoly service provider, to use its position to add extra strain on family finances at the current time.”
Speaking after the decision was published, London Assembly Labour Environment spokesperson, Murad Qureshi AM, said:
“I am delighted by today’s news that Ofwat have blocked Thames Water’s attempts to raise Londoners’ water bills by £29. At a time when people are struggling with a cost of living crisis we must do all that we can to help them. It was grossly inappropriate for Thames Water, as a monopoly service provider, to use its position to add extra strain on family finances at the current time.
“It is now time for Thames Water to realise the financial pressure families are facing and accept Ofwat’s decision. There is a broad consensus that the super-sewer needs to go ahead, but it has been made clear that there are alternatives to funding than just constantly increasing all of our water bills.”
- Murad Qureshi is a London-wide London Assembly Member and London Assembly Labour Environment spokesperson.
- The ‘Final determination of Thames Water’s IDoK application – executive summary’ by Ofwat can be found here: http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/regulating/det_idok20131108tms.pdf
- Murad Qureshi AM’s submission on behalf of the Labour Group on the London Assembly is attached.