South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called for a one-off £100 water tax rebate for households in Ayrshire to tackle the cost of living crisis caused by the pandemic.

Last month, Scottish Labour interim leader Jackie Baillie revealed the existence of a cash stash worth over half a billion pounds in the bank vaults of Scottish Water and its subsidiaries.

Despite the existence of this cash stash, Scottish Water plans to follow through on inflation-busting water price hikes.

Today, Colin Smyth is calling for the excess cash to be used to deliver a one-off £100 water tax rebate for every household, benefitting 56,475 households in East Ayrshire and 53,590 in South Ayrshire.

The local MSP said: “It is time hard-pressed families got money back from this obscene cash stash.

“It is clear that water customers across Ayrshire have been overcharged for years and they need the money in their household budgets at this time, not sitting unused in Scottish Water’s bank vaults.

“Not only can a water rebate be easily afforded from the cash Scottish Water has stashed away, it means that any planned above-inflation water charge increases can be dropped for a number of years to come.

“By delivering an immediate flat-rate £100 rebate on their next water bill, every household in Ayrshire will benefit – with the poorest households benefiting most. It will put cash into the pockets of thousands households.

“This is the sort of good news that families need after a hard winter. It is, after all, our money – as the people of Scotland own Scottish Water.”


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