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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2008

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!

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In The Socialist 16 April 2008:

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Editorial: 24 April strikes: step forward in pay battle


Unison witch-hunt

Unison witch-hunt: Defend 'the four'

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National Shop Stewards Network


Workplace news and analysis

Re-elect a fighting PCS leadership

News in brief


Global food crisis

Global food prices: anger erupts in mass protests

How the other 0.01% live


Socialist Party election campaign

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Standing up for socialism: candidate list

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Housing crisis: Britain's house of cards

Tax attack hits low paid workers

Water 'regulators' hide real prices


International socialist news and analysis

Rising class struggles across Europe

Italian election: new Berlusconi victory will provoke mass opposition

France 1968: 10 million workers occupied factories

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The radical life of Martin Luther King


Socialist Students

Portsmouth Activists Academy day of debate


 

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