GMB renews water renationalisation call
Trade union GMB has renewed its call for the UK water industry to be renationalised, saying it should be a top priority for the next Labour Party election manifesto. GMB's call is in response to water regulatory Ofwat's new consultation on a blueprint to introduce market reforms to tackle overcharging in the industry.
Eamonn O’Hearn Large, GMB National officer for the water industry, said: “ Ofwat’s starting points to regulate this industry are 180 degrees removed from reality. First Ofwat claim that water is a scarce resource and its use by consumers should be curtailed by metering and the price mechanism. This claim is total nonsense.
"We use less than 2% of the rain that falls in the UK. The rest runs out to sea as the increasingly flooded rivers shows. This spurious claim for scarcity covers up the failure by water companies to collect enough water and the closure of reservoirs where land was sold for development to enrich the private equity owners of the industry."
Secondly, O’Hearn Large said that while parts of Britain is flooding Ofwat is starting consulting on a blueprint for retail competition in water claiming that this will mean more choice, better service for business customers from water suppliers. "Water is a natural monopoly and no consultations will change this. You would think they would learn from 'the market' in the energy sector."
He said: "The truth is that Ofwat are fiddling with market reforms in a monopoly water industry as Britain floods and consumers are ripped off. The only way to stop this rip-off is to create a level playing field for consumers. This means re-nationalisation of this natural monopoly and this has to be a top priority for the next Labour Party election manifesto.”
Back in July, the union called for the water sector to be renationalised as a CentreForum report said it was time to end reckless profiteering in the water industry.
- Companies submit improvement plans after Beast from the East Water companies across England and Wales will today (28 September) submit plans detailing how they are addressing the... Read More >
- Ofwat considers introducing abstraction incentives Water companies could be given reputational and financial incentives to encourage them to reduce their levels of... Read More >
- Wessex Water tops new SIM ranking Wessex Water has topped the new service incentive mechanism (SIM) rankings for the first quarter of 2015/16. Read More >
- Changing the way water utilities think George Hesmondhalgh, managing consultant at Capgemini, says companies need to stop viewing legislation as an obligation... Read More >
- The price of water As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Robin Hackett looks at whether low water bills can be maintained long term Read More >
- Scottish Water starts planning for the long term For SR21, Scottish Water is moving away from the traditional approach to business plans and developing a blueprint for the... Read More >
- Football teams and water companies: Closer than you think New season, new league, new challenges... Egremont Group's Owen Quinn and Alex Graham on the parallels between football... Read More >
- Abstract concept: How can water companies reduce abstraction? Despite concerns over supplies, water companies face pressure to reduce abstraction. As part of our Utility of the Future... Read More >