South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has raised concerns about the rising cost of living in South Scotland after it was revealed earlier this week that Scottish Water charges are set to rise by 4.2 per cent.
The news was confirmed in a statement last week by Scottish Government Net Zero Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson who informed customers how much extra they would pay and comes just a week after it was confirmed that energy bills are set to soar by nearly £700.
Colin Smyth fears that with rising prices in the shops and a looming national insurance increase for workers, constituents across South Scotland now face a cost of living crisis.
Scottish Water’s new annual charges, which are collected alongside local authority council tax, will mean an average bill increase of 31 pence per week.
Around half of households in Scotland receive financial support as they automatically have either a discount, exemption or reduction applied to their water and waste water charges.
Colin Smyth said: “Enough is enough. I want to be very clear- the SNP have the power to do something about this but are choosing to put up water bills up at a time when families are facing a cost of living crisis.
“Families across south Scotland are already struggling to pay rising household bills and face an increase in national insurance so this latest increase will have a devastating impact. This week, people are tuning in to the news to see costs are about to spiral out of control while the SNP and Tory governments sit and do little to help.
“Scottish Water is sitting on hundreds of millions of pounds of reserves while putting up the bills. The Scottish Government must stand up for the interests of customers and cap these rising costs.
“There is an SNP majority in Holyrood and the SNP have more Scottish MPs than any other party. They can no longer blame someone else for their failures. It is time for them to wake up to the realities of everyday life and stand up for the people they are supposed to represent.”