A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:
£310bn worth of investment is needed to ensure that UK infrastructure meets the country’s needs. Two thirds of that is expected to be funded by consumers, yet neither the government nor regulators have any real understanding of how this will impact on utility bills.
Households up and down the country are already struggling to cope with rising water and energy costs.
I have serious concerns that Government is taking decisions on infrastructure, banking on hard-pressed consumers to foot the bill, without knowing whether households will be able to afford to pay.
Government needs to work with regulators and private companies to ensure they have robust information on the long-term impact of planned infrastructure on consumers. They need to work together to ensure that consumers do not find their bills become increasingly unmanageable, particularly those on the lowest incomes who are hardest hit by price rises.
Affordability for all consumers needs to be a key driver in future Government policy.