Monday, August 08, 2022

Lib Dems get tough with privatised utilities

There are two news stories about the Liberal Democrats and the privatised utilities today.

BBC News reports that we have:

called for October's expected energy price cap rise to be scrapped, with the cost covered by a windfall tax on energy company profits.

Experts expect the energy price cap - the maximum amount suppliers can charge their customers in England, Scotland and Wales - to hit £3,615.

The average bill was £1,400 a year in October 2021.

And the Guardian says:

Water company bosses should be banned from giving themselves bonuses until they fix their leaky pipes, the Liberal Democrats have demanded.

New figures uncovered by the party found that England’s water and sewage company bosses have awarded themselves about £27m in bonuses over the past two years.

Analysis of Companies House records by the party found that executives at England’s water and sewage companies were paid £48m in 2020 and 2021, including £27.6m in bonuses, benefits and incentives.

This is despite reports that they allow 2.4bn litres of water to be leaked in England every day.

I'm pleased to see both these proposals. OFGEM has been ridiculously accommodating to the power companies - any idea that the point of privatisation was that those companies should bear the risks has long been forgotten.

And Ofwat has been no tougher with the water industry. If we hit directors where it hurts - in their pockets - then we may at last see some action on leaks.

We also need to get tough on the pollution of rivers. I suggest we threaten those same directors with prison sentences if they don't clean up their act.

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