We wish to highlight the main reason for Uniting Communities being involved in this process is as a direct consequence of our work with low income and disadvantaged households. Specifically over recent years we have observed through our financial counselling services and related services for low income people, that the main presenting issue for financial stress has been dramatic increase in utility bills. These have been increasing, both electricity and water, at higher rates than has income for lower income households and further the increases have been substantial in many instances and unexpected, putting great stress on very tight household budgets with fixed income. In short, the capacity to pay increased essential service bills has not been there for many low income households. Therefore, the price of water is of fundamental concern to Uniting Communities on behalf of the very large number of South Australian households who really struggle to pay their water bills, recognising that water is the most essential services of all essential services.

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These have been increasing, both electricity and water, at higher rates than has income for lower income households and further the increases have been substantial in many instances and unexpected, putting great stress on very tight household budgets with fixed income. In short, the capacity to pay increased essential service bills has not been there for many low income households. Therefore, the price of water is of fundamental concern to Uniting Communities on behalf of the very large number of South Australian households who really struggle to pay their water bills, recognising that water is the most essential services of all essential services.

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