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This will be described the wrong way around

Ofwat said: “Safeguards are in place to ensure that services to customers are protected regardless of issues faced by shareholders of Thames Water. Today’s update from Thames Water means the company must now pursue all options to seek further equity for the business to turn around the performance of the company for customers.”

It said its price control would put customer and environmental priorities at the heart of the water sector. “To drive this change, we need to ensure that the sector attracts investment and is fair to bill payers.

The tossers are price setting at the same time as demanding high investment in greater environmental quality.

Shareholders in Thames Water are refusing to inject funds into the indebted utility amid a growing dispute with the water regulator that raises the prospect of a new crisis for the troubled company.

Therefore the capitalists are not putting up the money.


So, assume the company is nationalised. Either taxpayers – everyone – puts up the capital to increase environmental standards. Or bills go up to pay for increased environmental standards. We gain the same result with nationalisation or not nationalisation.

Well, that’s assuming that prices and taxes don;t go up more because of that famed public sector efficiency.

8 thoughts on “This will be described the wrong way around”

  1. I know.

    Following on from the previous thread, why can’t we employ all these unemployed Welsh steelworkers to fix London’s sewers ?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    As I said on Twatter, anyone who thinks any increase in tax revenue will be spent on a nationalised water industry when there’s a voracious NHS to feed and votes to be garnered is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    As Otto said in another thread, this is back to the ’70s thinking.

  3. I have a horrible feeling that the whole ‘who pays for water/sewage services’ thing is going to end up in some sort of socialist wet dream – charging people different amounts depending on their income, or some proxy thereof. We’ve already seen the first few mutterings about differential charging in the energy sector, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those extended to the water business as well. After all its your ‘uman rights to have water provided and sewage taken away for free, and someone else should have to pay for it. Cue a version of council tax, only for water whereby houses are categorised by size and put into various bands of water and sewage charges. The average bill in a council house would be next to nothing, a big house in the country would be £10k.

  4. Jim – we used to have that system; and houses without a water meter still have it. The insistence on fitting meters is to curb waste.

    It’s a clever wheeze though. Government sells an asset for £££, taxes & regulates it into bankruptcy, then re-nationalises it. Win-win for govt. Lose-lose for the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

  5. “Jim – we used to have that system; and houses without a water meter still have it. The insistence on fitting meters is to curb waste.”

    Yes, but this would be a universally metered supply instead of unlimited water for X, as under the old water rates system. What would change would be the rate charged per cube. Council flat, 50p/cube say (with probably even that paid via a benefit top up, as with council tax), Small terraced house, maybe £1/cube. Average house same as now, larger detached house with garden £3/cube, house in the country with a big garden £5+/cube. A massive incentive for those who have gardens, swimming pools, lots of cars to wash etc etc to stop using water, not much opportunity for someone on the 8th floor of a hi-rise to use more than they need for washing and drinking. It’ll sound perfect to the usual suspects, equity, diversity etc etc, plus another reason for the underclass to vote for them – free utility bills!

  6. After all its your ‘uman rights to have water provided and sewage taken away for free, and someone else should have to pay for it.

    I have exactly this argument with German and Austrian pals who are opposed to privatisation. It is a fundamental right to have clean water and it should be provided by the state ( or local authority ).

    No it bloody isn’t and no it shouldn’t.

    The problem is, as ever, replacing a state monopoly with a private one. Although I must admit that I’m not sure how Sewage Operating Companies would operate.

    We can also blame Thames Water’s predicament on a failure in regulation. Ofwat allowed Macquarrie to cash and asset strip it and leave it saddled with debts, then flogged it to unsuspecting Canuck teachers.

  7. BiND: The NHS only needs an extra 8 billion a year to stave off collapse, but 10000 GBP per head compensation due to 3 million WASPI women equates to that over 75% of Keir Starmer’s first parliament as Prime Minister. Let’s cross our fingers that Rishi Sunak doesn’t choose to take revenge for the Clegg public sector pay award 45 years on.

  8. jgh
    March 28, 2024 at 3:33 pm

    Haven’t they typically got that the wrong way around? A collectivist culture doesn’t generate big industry, big industry generates collectivist cultures.

    Chicken or Egg I’d call it. A collectivist culture can’t create big industry but but if forced into a copy of it will adapt readily enough. Problem is that copying the old big industry does not help, with the non-collectivist bit of keeping it going by generating the next big thing.

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