As if the energy price hikes weren't bad enough, water companies are set to fleece us with price rises (Daily Mirror: Homeowners to face more financial misery with soaring water bills). What's more, the water regulator Ofwat has given the water companies the go ahead for this inflation-busting price hike. Bloody typical; capitalist business gets whatever it asks for, while workers have to fight hard for anything remotely resembling a living wage rise, and then we get denounced by the media and government :-(
I've already mentioned the energy companies mugging us in a previous entry, and at least they had half a point when they said the price of importing energy has gone up; it has (although, as I also mentioned, western capitalism is largely the author of its own misfortune there). The same is not true of water, in a wet country like Britain. If anything, last summer, many parts of the UK (even my own village) had rather too much water, thanks to climate change (due mostly to irresponsible energy use by the capitalist system, which raising the prices for domestic consumers will do little to address).
Ever since privatisation, the water companies have been p1$$ing on us. Back in the summer of 1995, we had the spectacle of droughts and water rationing, and the demands for more water metering - which hits poor people and families with kids hardest. Yes, the summer of 1995 was hot, but it was preceeded not only by a wet winter and spring, but by three wet and miserable years (summers included). It was reported in Socialist Worker at the time that Yorkshire Water, one of the worst affected, had sold off reservoir land for houses during this period! Not to mention skimping on pipe repairs while paying their fat cat directors huge salaries and bonuses.
Water should be re-nationalised, water meters scrapped, and the privateer water rats drowned!