Pri­va­tised wa­ter is ‘fail­ing us’

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - BRIAN READE -

ENG­LAND’S pri­va­tised wa­ter in­dus­try is an “un­sus­tain­able” sys­tem that only ben­e­fits share­hold­ers, a study has found.

The nine wa­ter com­pa­nies which, with Dwr Cymru, sup­ply most of the wa­ter in Eng­land and Wales, are £47bil­lion in debt since be­ing pri­va­tised debt-free in 1989.

Aca­demics at Lon­don’s Green­wich Univer­sity found house­holds pay £53 a year ser­vic­ing the debt. Share­hold­ers, mostly pri­vate eq­uity groups, have made £56bil­lion in div­i­dends – Dwr Cymru is owned by a not-for-div­i­dend group – and there has been a 40% real rise in English bills. Pres­sure group We Own It said: “It’s time to take our wa­ter back.”

In­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive Wa­ter UK said in­vest­ment had dou­bled af­ter pri­vati­sa­tion.

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