§ Mr. O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment with what schemes, other than metering, the Government are offering help to the Director General of Water Services, so as to ensure that the changes in charging for domestic water services provide the best value for money; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
[holding answer 12 February 1990]: It is for each water company to decide on what basis to charge for its services once rateable values can no longer be used, and to apply to the Director General of Water Services for an interim adjustment of its price limit (k) to cover the additional cost of introducing and operating its choice of system. The costs of metering on a wide scale are currently more uncertain than those associated with other methods of charging. The Government are therefore providing financial support to a
First time purchasers All borrowers Average recorded income1 Average house price Average mortgage advance Average house price £ £ £ £ (a)England 15,921 43,399 39,130 59,428 (b)Northern 12,145 25,604 26,869 39,146 Yorkshire and Humberside 13,025 30,589 28,952 43,095 East Midlands 14,075 37,707 34,062 50,656 East Anglia 17,210 50,340 44,367 65,980 Greater London 23,528 67,558 60,383 84,826 South East (ex GLC) 19,445 60,270 52,021 82,743 South West 15,426 49,355 42,220 68,867 West Midlands 13,763 34,661 32,696 50,898 North West 12,852 28,666 29,675 43,256
series of metering trials to ensure that the results are available in sufficient time to influence each company's choice of charging method and to enable the director general to have regard to the results when considering applications for interim adjustments. The director general may, however, commission research into other methods of charging if he considers it appropriate.