Since privatisation, water bills have increased by around 40%. Many private water companies have built up debt which only means they charge consumers more in order to pay this off. As you rightly stated, this is not fair because the only person at fault for the debt is the private companies who should therefore have to pay for it themselves. The people should be at the forefront of the private companies minds, not the shareholders. England is the only country to a have a fully privatised water and sewerage system. This shows how behind everyone else we are and how putting the water industry into public ownership would really benefit the country and bring us into step with the rest of the world.
I believe that the water industry should be nationalised. Following the success of Scottish Water, myself and the Labour Party are trying to push the renationalisation of the water industry. The Shadow Chancellor spoke in September about the planned publicly-owned water system to be run by local councils, customers and workers. You can read more about this and what the Shadow Chancellor said here.
As you mentioned, Scottish Water has been a success for 16 years so far saving each customer on average £42 a year compared to England. By going public with the water industry, it would reduce bills, leaks and pollution. Renationalisation has the potential to save household bills around £220 a year. This would be cost beneficial for everyone as it means that people won’t have to pay to fix so many leaks and damages anymore. Also, if pollution is cut down, we as a country would be moving towards a safer planet. We should be taking all steps possible to work towards protecting the Earth.
The water industry is the main priority in Labours efforts towards renationalisation. Unfortunately, as a Front Bench Spokesperson I am unable to sign EDMs. However I will continue to push for public ownership of water.