§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many water authorities currently use direct billing procedures; how many water authorities, so far as his Department is aware, intend to introduce direct billing procedures; and what is the identifiable cost of direct billing in each of the above-mentioned authorities.
§ Mr. Fox
Every water authority in England and Wales now uses direct billing procedures in all or some part of its area. It is expected that next year there will be further extensions to all but a few districts and that the changeover will probably be completed by 1982–83.
I regret that I do not have detailed information about the costs of direct billing procedures, but I understand that in every case the savings to the water authority outweigh the costs.