Water companies to cut sewage spills, sounds great? Well, it isn’t as simple as that.
They want bills to increase by £156 a year by 2030 to pay for upgrades and reduce sewage discharges.
The increase would allow infrastructure spending to almost double to £96bn, the water industry claims, reports the BBC.
It has been argued that water companies have failed to invest in our sewage treatment systems etc, since they were privatised more than 30 years ago, with profits going to shareholders instead.
Feargal Sharkey told the BBC’s Today programme he thought the proposals were a “breathtakingly catastrophic strategy” for the industry.
Sharkey added: “We’ve already paid these companies to develop, build and maintain a sewage system capable of properly dealing with our sewage”.
“So I don’t know why Ofwat would ever agree that the customer should pay again for a second time for a service we’ve never received.”
If you don’t think this increase in bills is fair then there is a petition that 280,407 have already signed, click here
SOS Whitstable wrote: “”Water companies want bills to increase by £156 a year by 2030 to pay for upgrades and reduce sewage discharges.”
“They take more than enough from us. Utterly shameless. Return to public ownership now.”
Prem Sikka wrote: “Water companies want £156 bill rise to fund upgrades. NO. They have already picked our pockets. Bills hiked 40% in real terms, record dividends paid. Shareholders must pay. People are due refunds for fraudulent sewage charges. End privatisation scam.”
Windrush WASP X account asked Water UK: “How many sewage works could have been upgraded with the billpayers money spent by water companies on legal fees trying to wriggle out of prosecution or challenge regulators?”
Sharkey added: “WCs are telling@Ofwat they’re going to fix their leaks, again. They leak about 1 trillion litres of water per year. For decades WCs have claimed they’re fixing the leaks. It’s a lie. In 2022 over half of all WCs failed to meet their leakage target.”
Carol Voderman wrote: “UK water firms to ask customers to pay for their £96bn plan to cut leaks and discharges Really? More for water firms? So you can still pay dividends to shareholders? And we have no option but to pay?”
‘This is sick and a story repeated over and over and over. If these companies had invested their profits instead of corporate greed profiteering and ripping us off paying out tens of billions in dividends over the years our infrastructure wouldn’t be in this mess.”
David Henderson, chief executive of Water UK, which represents the water companies has argued the case for the water industry: “Since privatisation, £200bn has been invested, almost double the rate before privatisation. Drinking water is what was funded from that money to be now at the highest standard in the world.
“Leakage [is] down by a third. There’s two-thirds less ammonia and phosphorus entering our rivers. The number of beaches classed as excellent is up seven-fold. And on top of that bills have been kept low. Since 2010, water bills on average have fallen by nearly a fifth.
“So it is not true to say we haven’t been investing we have been investing and this is now the next great challenge.”