Labour plans to re-nationalise water sector
The Labour party have revealed plans to re-nationalise the UK water industry, if elected on 8 June.
Labour launched its’ manifesto yesterday, promising to create nine new public bodies to run the water and sewage systems in England. This will end the practice of paying dividends to shareholders. Party sources say this change could see bills being reduced by around £100 a year per household – the equivalent of a cut in water bills by around 25%.
“Many basic goods and services have been taken out of democratic control through privatisation,” reads the manifesto. “This has often led to higher prices and poorer quality, as prices are raised to pay out dividends. For example, water bills have increased 40 per cent since privatisation…
“Across the world, countries are taking public utilities back into public ownership. Labour will learn from these experiences and bring key utilities back into public ownership to deliver lower prices, more accountability and a more sustainable economy. We will… Replace our dysfunctional water system with a network of regional publicly-owned water companies.”
The labour manifesto also committed to the Labour government taking railways and the Royal Mail back into public ownership while also nationalising the electricity distribution and transmission networks.
The water industry was privitised under the government of Margaret Thatcher in 1989, and Labour’s plans would see the industry return to public hands.