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Activists from We Own It (a campaign group for public services) and trade unions, like Unison and UNITE, took part in a ‘splash mob’ to highlight the huge payouts going to water company directors and shareholders – while prices rise for the the public.
We Own It director Cat Hobbs said:
Water belongs to us in the first place and should never have been privatised. 83 percent of us want to take our water back. The only question is when and how.
Will settle for zero compensation
We’re not asking them to return the tax they’ve dodged. We’re not asking them to compensate us for the damage they’ve done to our rivers and wildlife. We’re not asking them to pay us back for increasing our bills by 40 per cent. We’ll settle for zero compensation.
The ownership of the water supply was privatised by the Thatcher government in 1989, making England’s most vital utility at source of private profit.
Water prices: Increased by 40 percent
Since then water companies have increased prices by 40 percent in real terms and made billions of pounds in profit. It is estimated that public ownership of water would save each household in England £100 a year.
The market value of water industry shares in England is estimated to be around 37 billion pounds.
Take action - join the virtual splash
Water privatisation has failed. For nearly 30 years, the privatised water companies have ripped us off, polluted our rivers, dodged taxes and let our water drain away through leaky pipes.
Right now, communities around the world are taking control of their water and the same thing can happen in England. It's time to take back the control of the water industry and turn them into democratically accountable, regional organisations that put people before profit.