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SCOTLAND - WATER CHARGES HIT POOR HARDEST

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The poorest households in Scotland are to be hit by massive increases in water charges, according to council leader...
The poorest households in Scotland are to be hit by massive increases in water charges, according to council leaders and the water authority.
Environment minister Sam Galbraith has announced a relief scheme for homes on lower incomes, but only those in higher council tax bands. This only benefits a small number of homes in the north of Scotland.
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities president Norman Murray criticised the scheme, saying: 'This is plainly not a system which benefits those in low income households - those who are in most need of support.'
Water authority chairman Alan Alexander admits the 19% rise in rates will hit many of the poorest households, but insists repairs are vital and the executive should provide relief for poorer households.
Announcing the£24m relief scheme, Mr Galbraith said: 'I am clear there is a need to invest in the water industry but I am equally clear households with the lowest income and the highest charges should be given help.'
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