Labour MEPs challenge Commission to act on Europe's rip-off utility bills

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Labour MEPs have attacked the ever-rising cost of water bills for people in Britain and across the EU, calling on the European Commission to be bolder in tackling the excessive prices imposed by water companies.

In the UK this year, water bills in some regions rose by 3.4 per cent in April, with an average increase in England and Wales of £8, to £393 a year.

North West Labour MEP Julie Ward said:

"Ed Miliband has already laid out Labour's plans to freeze energy bills until 2017 under a Labour government whilst introducing a tough new regulator. The European Commission needs to play its part now in tackling soaring bills in Britain and across the EU."

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour MEP for the North West and Labour's European spokesperson on energy, said:

"Our energy market is simply not working. High energy prices are having a devastating impact on many households, with 25,000 people dying of the cold every year. The rising cost of water is only adding to this problem, with many households having to choose between heating and eating.

"There needs to be a complete overhaul of our energy market to break up the Big Six energy companies and install a tough new regulator which can put a stop to unfair price rises which are adding even more pressure to family budgets at a time when the cost of living crisis continues to deepen."