The News In Shorts

How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Thames Water: A Tale Of Ordinary Capitalist Folk.

In the past five years Kemble Water Holdings, the Macquarie-led vehicle that owns Thames Water, has paid dividends to its investors totalling £700 million and has paid not one single penny in tax. In fact it has been given a tax rebate of £43.7 million while, at the same time, its subsidary, Thames Water, has paid out £1.4 billion in dividends. Par for the course when it comes to the privatised utility companies you might think. After all that's why they were privatised in the first place - so that wealthy people could get their hands on even more wealth by extorting ever more more money out of a captive customer base. What is shocking, however, is that the taxpayer is now expected to shell out £3.6 billion to build a a tunnel under the Thames to prevent sewage leaking into the river. Er, shouldn't Thames Water be paying for that? Well, under the new rules of capitalism in which profits are privatised and debt is nationalised, apparently not. Caroline Spelman, the environment secretary, has apparently accepted a long and complicated explanation from Thames Water that shows quite conclusively that the utility company has a perfect right to hold its hand out. That alone seems to indicate that she's either a complete moron or she's on the take. Once more we have the spectacle of a private company filling its overly deep pockets with our money as it takes advantage of the neoliberal concept of "money for old rope" and then leaving us to pick up the bill for the investment they should be making. If the Tories are so concerned with "benefit scroungers" maybe they should be looking at this bunch of criminals.

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