A CONSUMER group has given a cautious welcome to news that water bills are to go up in Yorkshire.
WaterVoice Yorkshire said the rise could have been far worse - but it also warned against further increases.
Yesterday, the Ofwat watchdog confirmed that Yorkshire Water bills can rise by £36, or 15%, over the next five years.
It had been feared the increase could be £50.
WaterVoice chairman Mohammed Ajeeb said: "The increases are lower than expected. I am pleased Ofwat has been influenced by the customers' voice.
"But the minister has the opportunity to fine-tune decisions on the required quality programme in September.
"WaterVoice is opposed to any additional obligations being placed on customers in Yorkshire."
Mr Ajeeb added: "Levels of customer debt in the water industry continue to grow.
"Even though the proposed increases are not as bad as we expected, there will still be a significant number of customers on low or fixed incomes who will have real difficulty in paying their water bills.
"The Government must take responsibility for the consequences of these increases by helping people who will not be able to afford their next water and sewerage bill."