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.'