Welsh and English households may be facing a higher likelihood of debt in the coming months due to an estimated 3.5% increase in sewerage and water bills that is expected to take place in April of this year. The increase will likely remain in place until March of 2014. This rate hike is .5% above the inflation rate making it concerning for many homes.
The National Debtline stated that last year it took many calls about people having problem meeting their higher water bills. In fact, it stated that it had more calls about water bill debt then it did about mortgage or rent problems. Therefore, it is expected that the increase in water bills will threaten many more UK homes.
A spokesman for the National Debtline stated that the increasing water bills are one of the fastest growing debt issues that they have had to deal with in the past few years. Between 2010 and 2007 the amount of calls about water bill debt increased by 251%.
uSwitch.com, the comparison website, also predicts that the increase of yet another utility bill will likely leave many households struggling to keep their heads above the water. In addition, uSwitch noted that the energy bill just increased on average leading the average household owning about £107 more per month for energy and water once the changes take place.
Director of consumer policy for uSwtich.com, Ann Robinson, stated that the announcement by Ofwat that the water bills will be increasing is too close in the wake of the energy price hikes and as a result many households are going to have a hard time staying ahead of their bills. She added that as incomes remain the same this is going to put a tough pull on most family finances.