“Severn Trent turns in ‘robust’ first-half performance”

Nov 22, 2022 | Companies, In the news

Privatisation, when it was all the rage in Thatchers ‘80s, was supposed to kick the moribund, state-run utilities into competitive efficiency, to streamline them, with market forces getting rid of their unionised complacency. So what, now, if I’m not happy with Severn Trent’s service? How do I take my business elsewhere? My only option is to move house so that I can enjoy the delights of, say, Thames Water’s water. It’s nonsense, of course, as these are monopolies with nothing against which to compete. Or, to put it another way, a licence to print money. ST’s CEO was challenged on the ‘Today’ programme to justify her £3m bonus (which she neatly sidestepped) and the level of dividends (‘payments to our shareholders, who could be your parents, grandparents or their pension funds’). I’m all for the free market, but this is anything but free. And even if we only drink Evian, we still need to have the occasional shower and flush the loo, so they have us by the proverbials, whether we like it or not. And don’t get me started on the privatisation of the care sector, with homes charging £1500 per week and paying staff doing horrible jobs the minimum wage. We’ll save that for another day.

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Ireland’s Budget Surplus

Ireland’s Budget Surplus

Remember George Osborne? His plan was to cut his way to a ‘budget surplus’, where the government has more money coming in than goes out, by 2015. He dropped that particular plan in 2016, so before Brexit could be blamed for our later and current woes.