Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/529/4025
Water 'regulators' hide real prices
ONE OF the many myths about privatisation is that privatised industries are 'regulated' to stop them carrying out anti-social activities. The water industry regulator Ofwat negotiates with the private water companies and announces every spring how much water bills will be allowed to rise.
Last month they announced that water and sewerage charges across Britain would rise by an average of 5.8%. In fact the average increase is well above this.
United Utilities was said to have agreed a 7.5% rise in water bills for its north-west customers. However, unmetered customers will be paying between 8.5% and 8.9% more.
Likewise Thames Water was supposed to bring in a 3.8% rise but unmetered customers will see bills rise by 5.4%, low-user metered customers will pay 6.4% more, while high-use meter users will pay 6.9% more. Similar hikes were seen all over the country.
Ofwat, it seems, included a number of customers who were expecting to change to a meter in their calculations - some of these customers in big houses using little water would see their bills come down, thereby reducing the 'average' rise.
Regulation for Ofwat seems another word for hiding the truth about their charges' anti-social activities. Renationalise all privatised utilities such as the water companies under the democratic control of working-class people!
In The Socialist 16 April 2008:
Workplace news and analysis
Global food crisis
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and views
International socialist news and analysis