Spend £75.00 or more and get FREE UK delivery

Non Discussed Facts 1

Non Discussed Facts 1

There has been huge debate about showing our political views on our social media feeds and the expression “business time bomb” has been used along with the example of Yorkshire tea attacking its own customers who don't support BLM and telling them not to buy their tea.

So it's been an internal debate for some time, but we have reached a point where we decided that people run businesses and these people have a view , we have also decided that we just don't feel happy with the western worlds direction of travel , so we decided to mirror our approach with our Eco Facts series, to use facts to spark debate and educate is a good place to start, so here is our first in our series of Non Discussed facts

 

Let's talk Water

If I was to talk to the 20 year old me , I would of been shocked with the views I hold in my 50+ years, I was scarred like most Brits by the militant strikes of the 70's and 80's,  and thought privatisation was a panacea for restricting the damage done by people like Red Rob , but although it seemed like the answer to the problem of militant unions, history has shown us we have replaced one ill with another and it absolutely doesn't work when it comes to critical infastructure.

The facts speak for themselves, if we look at the facts.

  1. The UK water industry before privatisation had zero debt and was sold off for £1.5bn,
  2. Since privatisation the water companies have paid our £72bn in dividends to mainly overseas companies (most of it non taxable as it is routed through tax havens and corporate holding companies based outside of the UK, this alone should of netted the UK £14.4bn in tax).
  3. Since privatisation the debt racked up by the water industry is over £56bn (current interest payments £1.3bn which has been added to our bills).
  4. To clean up and replace our water infrastructure would cost £20bn over 30 years, leaving a net gain of £52bn from nationalisation.
  5. Of the 13 water companies, Scotland and Northern Ireland are state owned and Wales is a community interest company , the other 10 are held by private companies and of the 10 privately owned companies, they all have the worst standards out of the 13.
  6. Only 10% of the world nations have a privatised water industry, and in all of these countries , water standards and costs per litre have been poor compared to when they were nationalised. 
  7. Since privatisation, not one new reservoir has been built in spite of huge increases in the population (in the interest of balance this is also true of all 13 companies).
  8. Since 2020 a fifth of all water is lost in leaks ( no figures exist as to where these leaks actually end up).
  9. In August of 2022 their were drought areas in 14 areas of England in spite of records raining falls over the previous year.

Let's start with a quote

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to combine the citizens’ rights and interests and the private enterprise’s interests, because the private enterprise aims at its natural and justified objective, the biggest possible profit.”

Joseph Chamberlain - Businessman and politician

 

Nationalisation versus public ownership

The UK Government is shockingly bad at running companies, there are a number of reasons for this but in reality , good corporate ownerships and no Governmental interference would solve this, run them like a business and not a political tool and you solve this issue, in fact France has already shown us how to do this well.

  1. The MD (CEO) of Scottish Water takes home £400,000 less than the average pay of the privatised companies south of the border.
  2. Scottish Water has invested 35% more than the average south of the border in its infrastructure and yet charges 14% less than its equivalents.
  3. Outside of the UK , a number of former nationalised water companies have had their license not renewed and been taken back into public ownership (including a large part of South America for the same reasons as here).

 

Nationalisation would cost a fortune

This is the argument of the status quo and yet it doesn't stand up to scrutiny, as the cost of doing nothing is far higher as our rivers become contaminated and this natural resource could be an income for the nation, to reduce the reliance on tax and improve water and river standards, take away the profit motive and you have a system set up for the national good.

 

This still doesn't explain how we pay for it

Currently the system of OFWAT fines works out in the favour of the water companies as dumping contaminated water into our rivers is cheaper than the fines, so there is no incentive for cleaning the contaminated water,  and rarely the failing companies actually ended up being fined, so cleaning the water before dumping isn't good for business when you have a profit motive.

So the simple solution is that you don't renew licenses of failing companies, you fine the companies at a rate that matches the crime ( in other words considerably more than we currently fine these companies) , this would force the water companies into raising standards or face nationalisation,  and if they don't clean their act up, they go under and we nationalise the water companies on the cheap, it's a win win for our rivers and the UK.

Feel free to tell us if we have got it wrong, as this is a debate, but we feel we all need to be talking about this and not allow this debate to be yesterday's news.

Disclaimer

These views reflect the views of the writer and may not reflect the views of The Pure Option™

Reference

https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o2076

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_water_companies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nationalizations_by_country

https://cepr.org/voxeu/columns/water-nationalisation-network-access-quality-and-health-outcomes

https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o2076

Share this article
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Youtube
TikTok
LinkedIn