Local MSP Iain Gray and Labour candidate Martin Whitfield are calling for a one-off £100 water charge rebate for households in East Lothian to help tackle the cost of living crisis caused by the pandemic.

Last month, Scottish Labour interim leader Jackie Baillie revealed the existence of a cash stash worth over half a billion pounds in the bank vaults of Scottish Water and its subsidiaries.

Despite the existence of this cash stash, Scottish Water plans to follow through on inflation-busting water price hikes.

Today, Mr Gray and Mr Whitfield are calling for the excess cash to be used to deliver a one-off £100 water charge rebate for every household in East Lothian benefitting around 47,000 households.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“A £100 water rebate would be a much-needed cash boost for hard-pressed families. It’s clear that water customers have been overcharged for years and they need the money in their household budgets at this time, not sitting unused by Scottish Water.

“Not only can a water rebate be easily afforded from the cash reserves Scottish Water has stashed away, it means that any planned above-inflation water charge increases can also be dropped for a number of years to come. SNP ministers just need to intervene to deliver this relief.”

Martin Whitfield said:

“By delivering an immediate flat-rate £100 rebate on their next water bill, every household in East Lothian and across Scotland will benefit at a time when they really need the help. It will put cash into householders’ pockets to meet bills or boost spending that can help our high street traders as we emerge from the pandemic.

“There is so much cash in the system that we can easily afford this and retain enough funds to cover the effects of the pandemic on Scottish Water’s income. This is the sort of good news that households need after a hard winter. It is, after all, our money – as the people of Scotland own Scottish Water.”

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