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Labour manifesto announces plans to renationalise water companies & infrastructure

Labour manifesto announces plans to renationalise water companies & infrastructure

17th May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's party has promised to renationalise the water industry if he becomes the next Prime Minister on June 9th. 

Jim Clark, Manager, Sustainable Infrastructure Policy

The Labour Party has committed to funding the renationalisation of the water industry in their General Election Manifesto. The water industry was privatised in 1989 under Margaret Thatcher. Whilst there have been many benefits of privatisation, there have been criticisms recently by some politicians about rising water bills and huge profits. At present, the Conservatives look unlikely to broach this subject.

The Labour document published yesterday states: 'Water bills have increased 40% since privatisation... We will replace our dysfunctional water system with a network of regional publicly-owned water companies.' 

The justification for this is: 'Public ownership will benefit consumers, ensuring that their interests are put first and that there is democratic accountability for the service.'

Water companies will claim that their business plans are approved by customers, and that satisfaction for these plans is high. Some commentators have also baulked at the possible cost of fulfilling the policy, which would cost billions of pounds.

To find out more about water and infrastructure policy, please visit the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum website.