WATER bosses have hit back at claims they pay too little tax – insisting: “We play by the rules.”

Yorkshire Water was one of three water companies highlighted in a report today (SUnday, November 11) for paying relatively tiny tax on huge profits.

According to The Observer it made an operating profit of £303m in 2012 but paid £2.9m in tax on its water profits last year and £11.1m the year before.

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And two other water companies – Thames and Anglian - paid no corporation tax at all on the profits made from their utility businesses.

But Yorkshire Water insisted they paid their tax in full and in total compliance with the rules set down by Revenue and Customs.

“We make a massive contribution to the regional economy, investing more than £1m every day to improve drinking water quality, bathing water quality and to help ensure communities are better protected from flooding,” said a spokesman.

“We also directly employ more than 2,500 people in Yorkshire, and through our investment, we have created hundreds more jobs working with over 1,000 local suppliers.

“We have always been nothing less than completely open and honest around our accounts, which are independently audited by HMRC, and publically available via our website.”

He added: “We play by the rules.

“If people however believe that these rules need to be changed, then that is an issue for Government and we’re very happy to play a part in any future debate.”