Water reforms 'must focus on price'

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In his report, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, (Sir Ian Byatt) added: "Environmental spending is now distorting investment... Meanwhile, increases in bills have created social problems for customers, particularly in the South-West."

Sir Ian said: "At a time when many families are struggling to get by, reducing the costs of basic necessities, like water, should be a priority. The increasing burden of regulatory policy on the water industry has contributed to rising prices and it is time for change.

"Water regulation needs to focus on driving down prices and ensuring we have enough supply. Sensible policies, such as encouraging more water trading between regions, would help to ensure Britain doesn't face hosepipe bans in the future."

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