Water bills would be less if industry was publically financed, says research
UK households could save £250 each on their water, electricity and gas bills as well as train fares if the services were publically financed, suggests research by Corporate Watch, in collaboration with We Own It. According to the research, water bills have risen in real terms by 50% since privatisation while rail fares are 23% higher than they were in 1995.
By analysing the accounts of all of the UK's private water and rail companies, the electric and gas transmission and distribution companies and the 'Big Six' energy generation and supply companies, the research has found that together they paid out more than £12.7bn to shareholders and lenders in dividends and interest in 2013.
The company said that to run these services publicly, the government would need to raise an equivalent amount of money to that currently invested in the companies. This could be achieved through raising taxes, cutting public spending in other areas, selling off other public assets, printing money or borrowing from international markets.
The total interest and dividends paid out by water companies in 2013 amounted to £3.8bn. However, interest that the government would pay on newly-issued 30-year gilts of the same amount as the £174.3bn in debt and equity currently held by companies would be £2bn less at £1.8bn.
The total savings on UK household water bills would be £75 each.
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