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Metrowater's Charge Hike Increases Social Inequity


Large families on low incomes who need to use more water will be hardest
hit under Metrowater's new tariff which substantially increases
user-charges for water and waste-water services.

"The supply of water is an essential public service which should be
affordable. People who NEED to use more water should not face crippling
bills. Neither should they have to become means-tested charity cases and
apply for "extended rates rebates" to cover this most basic human need.
By supporting increased user-charges the Auckland City Council increases
misery and social inequity. IS THIS FAIR?" asks the Water Pressure Group in
a leaflet which is being distributed to 120,000 Auckland City households.

"We note with interest that Metrowater, in their large publication entitled
'What's the price of a clean beach', do not include an example of a low
income, high water-use family. Metrowater know full well that their
conservation advice "Using only the water you need makes sense. It keeps
your water bill down and it's better for the environment", is useless
advice for large households, many of whom are living together to help make
ends meet, and are well aware of how to conserve and budget.It is surely
painfully obvious that a household with many people are going to NEED to
use more water than a household with fewer people, and why should they be
penalised financially for that?"

"We also note that Metrowater's examples do not compare that which people
have been paying under the old tariff with new tariff charges. When you
compare the actual (real) figures, you will find that the bills people face
will actually be a lot higher than Metrowater's figures suggest (based on
adding increased prices to the old tariff)." stated Water Pressure Group
media spokespersons Penny Bright and Jim Gladwin.

"Reducing fixed systems charges on water and wastewater, while increasing
user-charges, has shifted the burden of payment from the poorer sections of
the community who use less water (eg: low income people living on their own
such as pensioners), to those who need to use more, such as large families.
The only winners in the situation remain the very wealthy, who enjoyed
large tax cuts (rates) in 1997 when Metrowater was established." they

"Users charges in the name of 'fairness', are one the most effective
con-jobs yet that the new right has used to bluff ordinary people." Penny
Bright and Jim Gladwin said, "The only solution to the social inequity
caused by commercialised water and user pays remains the abolition of
Metrowater and an end to the user pays regime The Water Pressure Group
continues to build the wastewater bills boycott as the best way to see the
company dumped."

P Bright & J. Gladwin
Media Spokespersons

The Water Pressure Group
email: jimg@pl.net
PO Box 10046
Dominion Road
New Zealand
Ph / Fax 0064 09 828 4517

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