Labour MEPs challenge Commission to act on Europe's rip-off utility bills

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Labour MEPs have attacked the ever-rising cost of water bills for people in Britain and across the EU, calling on the European Commission to be bolder in tackling the excessive prices imposed by water companies.

In the UK this year, water bills in some regions rose by 3.4 per cent in April, with an average increase in England and Wales of £8, to £393 a year.

Lucy Anderson MEP, Labour MEP for London and Labour's European spokesperson on transport and tourism, told MEPs:

"It’s time for the Commission to be bold, we want no more excuses about the lack of legal base or applications of principals of neutrality, EU-wide measures to promote democratic public control of water are the only answer.

"We are seeing facing first hand, through massive water bill rises, the shocking consequences of privatisation. We have a poorly regulated monopoly private provider of water which last year paid over €100 million in dividends to shareholders."

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour MEP for North-West England and Labour's European spokesperson on energy, added:

"Our energy market is simply not working. High energy prices are having a devastating impact on many households, with 25,000 people dying of the cold every year. The rising cost of water is only adding to this problem, with many households having to choose between heating and eating.

"There needs to be a complete overhaul of our energy market to break up the Big Six energy companies and install a tough new regulator which can put a stop to unfair price rises which are adding even more pressure to family budgets at a time when the cost of living crisis continues to deepen."

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