SOUTHERN Water (now owned by Greensands Investments) is about to raise its charges by a whopping 8.2 per cent - the highest rise in Britain.
Privatisation, it is argued, is ‘good for the consumer’ because it offers ‘choice’ and ‘competition’ in the marketplace.
But that argument does not apply to the water industry because there is no ‘choice’ or ‘competition’.
Wherever you live, you have to pay the one company which serves your region.
In other words, we can all be ripped off with impunity. Southern Water’s post-tax profits for 2009-10 were £129 million.
This profit is not all used for ‘investment’ (as Southern Water likes to tell us) as £40 million of this was paid out in dividends to a relatively few shareholders, directors and the like, money which could be used to hold down consumer prices if Southern Water was owned by all of us, not just a rich few.
Worse still is that Southern Water has cut the pay of (at least) some of its employees too, making the situation doubly outrageous.
If you are furious about this issue too, I urge you to write to the Southern Water’s CEO, Matthew Wright at Southern Water Ltd., Southern House, Yeoman Road, Worthing BN13 3NX.
And perhaps, too, the Observer would invite Mr Wright to explain this rip-off, and also ask him if he’s taken a pay cut and/or refused a share pay-out.