End the great water rip-off
  • Petitioned Anne McIntosh MP

This petition was delivered to:

EFRA
Anne McIntosh MP

End the great water rip-off

    1. George Turner
    2. Petition by

      George Turner

      London, United Kingdom

For the last 6 months I have been working on a report on how water bills are unnecessarily high leading to losses of billions of pounds for consumers. 

In a time of austerity when many people on normal incomes are suffering water companies are making profits of up to 25% a year selling a product which we all need for our survival. Water is a monopoly, there is no way of changing supplier - we have to pay.

I started looking at this industry when I was working for Simon Hughes MP and we discovered that our largest water companies, despite making hundreds of millions of pounds of profits each year were paying little or no tax. 

My report, published by Centre Forum demonstrates how water companies have been able to pay out mega dividends, funded by huge loans and all at your expense. 

Worse still, there are allegations of widespread tax avoidance and there is very little public accountability. Most of our largest companies are owned by private equity funds and there are no public meetings where management can be held to account. The ownership structures are murky to say the least with strings of companies dotted around the world’s island secrecy jurisdictions. This makes it difficult for the public to know what is going on with its water suppliers. 

It is now time to bring some accountability to the water industry. I am calling for a Parliamentary inquiry into profits in the water industry. Where they came from, where they went, and what can be done to lower water bills in the future.

It is time for the well healed owners of our water industry to get out of the trough. 

Photo by chrisjfry 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 50,000 signatures
    2. Money Down the Drain report covered by the Telegraph

      George Turner
      Petition Organizer

      Water firms that pay excess dividends should be forced to cut prices, says former Ofwat chief

      Backing a report by CentreForum, the think tank, Sir Ian said that "many companies, especially the private equity infrastructure funds, have paid out excessive dividends to their owners". He advocated the introduction of "some form of dividend control", whereby "payments of dividends above those assumed by the regulator when setting price limits, would be accompanied by reductions in the tariffs paid by customers".

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • David Hedges WIGSTON MAGNA, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      Essential services like this should not have a profit element, they should be run by the government

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    • sara williams ST IVES, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      I can confirm i have had some of the most stupidly high water charges. One friend i was discussing this with produced their bill which for a month was something like 108 tons of water... And no he wasn't occupying a swimming pool.. But they seemed to be charging him for the entire street possibly the entire postcode. and how do they hire ghosts to do there estimates. I have never seen a water employee checking meters. But they always seem able to pull out a huge estimate for you to get chewing on

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Neil Hall SWINDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      Thank you

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 3 months ago

      Be the change you want to see!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Theo Tsoi BURY, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      Our water bills are so high and we're a household of two. I'm 15 and my mum is left to face these bills on her own

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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