I’ve seen people go to extraordinary lengths to defend the private ownership of public services. Well, what do they say to this?
Bills could rise after water suppliers in England said they were ready to spend £10bn on tackling sewage spills.
The privately owned companies have apologised for the amount of contaminated water being discharged into rivers and seas, amid mounting public anger over the practice.
Some campaigners have cautiously welcomed the move, but others say firms are shifting the cost on to billpayers.
The industry paid out £1.4bn to shareholders in 2022.
Musician and environmental campaigner Feargal Sharkey called it a “half apology” that was another attempt to extract more money from customers.
“What I am actually hearing is no apology for the fact we have paid them for a service we haven’t got, they are now suggesting we pay them a second time for a service we haven’t had,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We should have an apology for the suggestion they are going to put bills up by £10bn for their incompetence and their greed. This is nothing to celebrate.”
If, as suggested, our bills will rise to cover the cost of these heavy polluters, then the only reasonable action should be to nationalise our water companies. They are paying out £1.4 billion to shareholders, whilst Britain’s rivers and coastlines become sewage infested quagmires. This should be unacceptable to any government, yet the Tories certainly don’t care (the odds are good they profit from the current arrangement), and who knows where Labour stand? Water and sewage are but one example of how the race for profit is bad for the average Briton. There’s more…
The BBC is running posts on how to save on energy bills, but the most obvious way to save Britain serious money would be to nationalise the companies that are reporting record profits, or at the very least, introduce a price-cap (ideally alongside a windfall tax) that prevents them from gouging the British taxpayer further. Unfortunately, our government lacks the will to enact these changes, because they value profit over people.
With all of this in mind, let’s thank our lucky stars that we are not burdened with US-style healthcare, and let’s hope we never end up with such a system here.