The Express & Star reports that the British government of David Cameron has introduced a new Water Bill in the House of Commons.
“Tory MP Anne McIntosh said the Government needed to introduce changes so the water companies knew when some customers could not pay their bill, rather than when they were refusing to pay. Unlike with heating and electricity bills, water companies were not allowed to cut suppliers off. Miss McIntosh said water companies could be given information about whether customers were receiving benefits to help them make the distinction. The MP said: ‘This new clause would enable companies to determine customers who cannot pay against who will not pay. Those who can pay but won’t pay are costing £15 per household. But for those who cannot afford to pay, it would allow water companies to target information about the charitable funds they operate, the social funds they operate, to those most vulnerable customers and allow them to make arrangements.'”
“Environment Minister Dan Rogerson thanked Ms McIntosh, Chair of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, for her suggestions but said the department could not support the proposals because they would not achieve the objectives effectively.”
“(Labour MP) John McDonnell said a full investigation into the impact of privatisation since 1989 should be carried out before Government reforms to open up the water industry more widely are allowed to proceed. …’I think the water industry is only seconded by the energy industry for ripping off the British public. I think since privatisation the British public, the average consumer of water in this country, has been stolen from by the privatised water companies.'”
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan owns 27 per cent of Northumbrian Water Group Plc, which sells its water services to about 4.4 million ‘customers’ in England. Also, the Canada Pension Plan owns one-third of Anglian Water Services, which sells water services to approximately six million people in England.
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