Minister vows 'to do what we can' over water charges


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A senior Treasury minister has promised the Government will do "what we can" to help Westcountry families suffering from the highest water bills in the country.
During a visit to Cornwall, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said he "understood" the impact of South West Water charges, which are more than £150 above the national average.
Mr Alexander, a Liberal Democrat MP, also defended the party's involvement in the coalition Government in the face of criticism over the speed of spending cuts and the three-fold increase in the cap on tuition fees.

It is thought the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs is soon to unveil a plan to help hard-pressed families in the Westcountry pay water charges.
But there are concerns the plan will only help a small proportion of the region, with insiders suggesting the Treasury has dragged its feet over a levy on water customers elsewhere in the country to help pay to keep the region's beaches clean.
Mr Alexander, MP for the Scottish Highlands, said: "I fully understand and sympathise with the fact that the higher water charges place pressure on particularly low-income families in this area.
"I have to say local Liberal Democrat MPs have left me in absolutely no doubt about the importance of this issue locally.
"It's important to stress that I understand that and we will seek to do what we can to address that against all the other difficulties we have in the economy."
Mr Alexander was in the region to promote National Apprenticeship Week, and claimed the South West could see 10,000 more apprenticeship places a year by 2015 in the wake of extra government funding for training.
He visited the Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, where apprenticeship schemes teach young people to build luxury yachts, and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay, near Newquay, which trains chefs.
He said: "(Apprenticeships) have been under-valued.
"We need to get to a situation where someone who is coming out with a highly-skilled apprenticeship is as valued as someone with a degree.
"That's the transformation we want to affect."
Senior Lib Dems have been criticised for the tie-up with the Conservatives.
Backbencher Adrian Sanders, MP for Torbay, claimed they are more concerned with pleasing the Tory "enemy" than the party's grassroots. On cuts to spending, he added: "We've had to take some immensely difficult decisions."
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Here we go again, blah, blah, blah. "We'll do what we can". Don't hold yer breath waiting for costs to go down folks, ain't gonna happen. Same old story, they make statements which never come to fruition, and we get poorer by the minute. They have turned Cornwall (and other Counties) into a service nation. We are now mostly dependant on Visitor numbers just to survive the winter months. Jobs that are well paid and actually produce something are few and far between, mostly the local job section is bolstered by ads for waiting staff and similar, where the staff have to rely on tips to get a fair wage. Even then they would like you to declare these so that they can take a bit more from you in tax. People are having their homes reposessed in ever greater numbers, and the Banks are loving it. After all they get your house for a song and chances are you get blacklisted on credit, that's working out nicely. And if you think for one minute that Camerons asking the Banks NOT to take million pound bonuses will be listened to, you're dreaming.
There is now just the one political party in this Country, "The broken promise party". It matters not who you voted for, they all want their pound of flesh from each and every one of us, whilst they fiddle their expences by jollying off somewhere by helicoptor or plane to a meeting designed to give them a break "somewhere warm" away from all the protests.
To sum up, a bunch of cowards only interested in what jobs they can get after their term in office. The people that really run this Country are the multi-million pound Corporations, the politicians dance to their tune not ours. They have forgotten that we, the electorate, are their bosses, maybe a few more protests will remind them of that fact. Let's hope so, for if not, slavery is just one step away, and the movie "V For Vendetta" will be a new documentary on the scale of George Orwells 1984.
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