UNION

Water bill rise 'Insulting to customers'

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01 Apr 2019
Press Office

Press Office

GMB, the water union, says today’s price hike is ‘insulting to customers’ while billions of litres are wasted every day and fat cat bosses get paid millions.

Water and sewerage bills for household customers in England and Wales will go up 2% today to an average bill of £415

Water bills have increased 40% above inflation since the water industry was privatised by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1989 on the back of a promise for greater investment to improve efficiency. 

For private water companies to hike up bills again is insulting to customers and begs the question again whether privatisation has failed.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer

Meanwhile privatised water companies let almost 2.4 billion litres – the equivalent of 950 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of treated water - go down the drain every day. 

A GMB investigation last year showed the CEOs of the nine privatised water companies in England trousered a whopping £58 million in salary, bonuses, pensions and other benefits over the past five years

On top of this, the average dividend and interest accrued for shareholders by each privatised water company in 2017 was £158 million

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, said:

“For private water companies to hike up bills again is insulting to customers and begs the question again whether privatisation has failed.

“Billions of litres of water are wasted every day, while bosses trouser millions and shareholders continue to get rich on dividends from our natural resource”

“30 years on from privatisation, it’s clear it is not working. It’s time to take back the tap and bring our water sector back into public hands.”

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