HC Deb 13 May 1982 vol 23 cc304-5W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Prime Minister for what reasons different parts of the United Kingdom either receive or do not receive support to alleviate domestic water rate bills through the rate support grant.

The Prime Minister

Water services are organised differently in different parts of the United Kingdom. This organisation has a direct bearing on the basis of charging.

In England and Wales the water authorities created by the Water Act 1973 are self-financing bodies operating without subsidy and so no rate support is payable.

In Northern Ireland water and sewerage services are provided by the Government through their agents the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland); funding is mainly by way of precept on the general rate. In Scotland water services are the responsibility of the regional and island authorities and as such retain the link with the local government funding framework. There are no plans to alter the present arrangements. It has to be remembered that rate support grant is not attributable to specific services but is given to meet the needs and requirements over the whole range of local authority services.