In the News

Water nationalisation - should England's water monopolies be nationalised?

Geoff Riley

16th July 2021

Phillip Inman makes a case herefor renationalising the water industry, noting that the sector is publicly owned in Scotland and Wales. Is it time to take water back under state control?

It's an interesting article - water companies are privatised monopolies who generate substantial profits - Southern Water had an operating profit of £213n last year, for example.

The companies will argue that water bills are lower than they would have otherwise been, but critics would suggest that the cost of water has increased 40% more than the rate of inflation since privatisation.

"Research by David Hall and Karol Yearwood of Greenwich University found that the debt was not used to fix leaky pipes or treatment works but went straight into shareholders’ pockets."

Equally, you can't help but notice the levels of debt incurred and the payouts to shareholders - when you would think that the level of risk involved is minimal.

Before the water companies were privatised, their debts were written off. Now they have debts of nearly £50billlion having paid out £57billion in dividends

Nationalisation: UK Water Industry I A Level and IB Economics
Exam Answer on Water Nationalisation I A Level and IB Economics

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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