Water charge rises above the rate of inflation represent another dagger in the ribs of hard-pressed working people.
The government washes its hands of the problem, since these are private companies and regulation is the concern of Ofwat, which everyone knows is as much use as a chocolate teapot.
The so-called regulator is simply a fig leaf to cover up for the profits-bloated companies that run our water and sewerage services.
Ofwat chief executive Regina Finn has the temerity to excuse this latest round of ransom demands, explaining that they are driven by inflation.
Well spotted, Sherlock! Inflation also hits those on low pay and benefits every hour of every day, but workers and claimants don't have similar advocates in the areas that count to make a case for inflation-busting rises to their income.
On the contrary, workers are expected to soldier on with cuts in the real value of their pay while the government is imposing a 1 per cent benefits "rise" for claimants, 60 per cent of whom are actually in work but qualify for state aid because their pay levels are so low.
In effect, taxpayers are subsidising private profits made possible by the low wage rates paid by employers.
Profits are also what water and sewerage services are all about, as a brief glimpse at the privateers' most recent figures show.
South West Water saw an annual profits increase of 9.8 per cent to £83 million last year after pushing up bills to consumers by 4.7 per cent.
A similar windfall benefited Northumbrian Water, which was able to raise pre-tax profits to £214.3m from £179.6m in 2011.
But what's this cloud darkening the skies of water profitability? Thames Water has a long face because its profits fell by 6 per cent to a pittance of £311 million due to a growing number of consumers unable to pay their water bills.
Well, there's only one way to deal with such a pickle - raise the rates even higher. And that's what Thames will do, pushing up bills by 5.5 per cent this year.
Coincidentally, Thames achieved notoriety last year alongside Anglian Water, admitting that they paid no tax on their profits despite handing out huge sums in dividends, executive pay and bonuses.
While approving this latest calculated raid on poor people's meagre incomes, wretched Ofwat boss Finn makes much of her capacity to take the big stick to water companies if their fine words on investment and efficiency do not bear fruit.
Pull the other one please. Years of corporate greed and incompetence have attracted little more than Ofwat pinpricks, just over half a billion pounds in fines over eight years when the companies rake in seven times that in profits every year.
It's noteworthy that the smallest rate rise, for the third year running, will be imposed by Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water at 1.7 per cent.
Unlike the other companies, Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water has a not-for-profit model so that there are no greedy shareholders to satisfy and operating surpluses can be reinvested in the industry.
Private profits are not essential to the efficient running of public services or natural monopolies such as water, gas, electricity and railways.
If fat-cat greed was removed from the equation, we could enjoy excellent services and end the cruel and unnecessary assaults on poor people's living standards.