**Update 27 July 2018: Next week seven million people will face a hosepipe ban during this scorching heat wave. The water company enforcing the ban failed to fix leaky pipes, losing its customers nearly a quarter of their water supply. Yet the same company is about to dish its biggest payout to investors in a decade. Just more evidence that water privatisation puts shareholder interests above our need for water, so add your name to the call for nationalising the water industry!**
*1 June: Edited to clarify that water companies are only privatised in England and Wales, following member feedback! Thank you!*
Our household bills are rising -- while greedy private water firms are making billions for their shareholders and executives from our public service! And receiving more money in tax breaks than they’ve paid in tax.
If our water industry was publicly owned, the money currently going to private shareholders could be reinvested into making our water infrastructure better, or passed back to customers in reduced bills.
Private firms monopolise the water industry in different parts of England and Wales -- you simply turn on your tap and use water from whatever private company operates in your area.
That means water companies have little incentive to make the service better and they’ve grown greedy -- choosing to line their shareholder’s pockets, instead of reducing bills for ordinary people.
A big petition will add momentum to the growing movement to nationalise our water industry. It’s only by supporting new ideas for how the country could be run, that they’ll be taken up seriously by MPs.
Up until a few years ago, few people were speaking about nationalising our railways -- but now that’s a top issue in elections and by-elections, and politicians on all sides feel under pressure to run our railways efficiently.
A whopping £13.5bn has been paid out to shareholders in dividends since 2010. At the same time as greedy private firms have claimed huge tax breaks and forced up prices for millions of customers. Since the water industry was privatised in 1989, water bills have risen in real terms by 40%.
What’s more, several high profile failures of private companies running public contracts -- like the recent collapse of outsourcing firm Carillion -- shows that private companies aren’t experts at running our public services.
If our water industry was nationalised, all that money paid out to shareholders could be used instead to improve our water services, or reduce prices for the likes of you and me. As it would be run by councils and government departments, our elected representatives would be accountable to voters to keep prices down and make sure the service runs well.