Water nationalisation is no panacea
Christopher Snowdon quoted in The Mail
Julian Jessop writes in The Telegraph
Prof. Len Shackleton writes for The Express
“Privatisation in 1989 opened up the opportunity to disconnect improvements in water supply and sewage disposal from public spending priorities, prioritising the NHS, education and benefits rather than new sewers. There have been significant improvements, with investment up and most performance indicators (including environmental markers such as wildlife sustainability) showing steady improvement over time.
“Would nationalisation – itself a long-drawn-out and costly process – produce any improvement over better regulation of the private sector?
“Sure, costs would be reduced were no dividends paid. But government borrowing still has a cost. Importantly, the past experience of nationalised industries suggests that productivity growth would be slower than under commercial pressures. Although hidden in general taxation, costs would almost certainly rise faster than before, and we’d indirectly be paying more for water.”
Read Len’s full piece here.