Working hard for you
Local Labour MP Alison Seabeck (Plymouth Moor View) is continuing to keep the pressure on the Government to follow through on the promise made by the Chancellor to pump £40 million a year in the South West to go directly to water bill payers.
This pledge was given following the progress made under the last government and the pressure exerted by MPs from all parties over many years. The evidence produced by Anna Walker in 2009 made very clear that the South West had lost out. She then set in train some further work which the then Government took forward to look at how the social tariffs worked and whether there was any scope for nationally funded affordability measures . The upshot was a pledge from the incoming government to an annual reduction to bills in South West of around £50.
Alison Seabeck has written to the Minister, Richard Benyon MP, asking him to confirm that if this payment requires primary legislation that, his department is, through the usual channels, pressing for a Water Bill to be included in the next Queen’s Speech in order to deliver this long awaited outcome. She also asked whether such a Bill could reasonably be expected to contain clarification around the social tariffs both national and regional and whether these would have to be phased?
Alison said, “Now is not the time to ease up but in fact to increase the pressure for action. If this payment needs primary legislation then we need to know because that will without doubt put back the payment date yet again by up to a year. If the Sec of State for Communities can find £250 million to prioritise a weekly bin collection then I would hope that the Government can come up with the £40 million promised to hard pressed water bill payers in my constituency.”