I RECENTLY received my annual water statement from Yorkshire Water.
The accompanying letter was headed: “How we plan to make your money go a long way”.
On the face of it this would appear to be an explanation of how the annual increase would be used to improve the services provided, however, on closer examination of the ownership of Yorkshire Water Services Ltd, I now believe this to be a tongue-in-cheek joke on the part of Yorkshire Water.
Yorkshire Water is owned by a consortium named Saltaire Water, a good old-fashioned Yorkshire name, giving the impression of local ownership you might think, but nothing could be further from the truth as the consortium comprises Citigroup Alternative Investments, HSBC, GIGC (the private equity arm of the Singapore Government) and the Prudential Groups Infracapital Partners.
So, their cunning plan ‘to make your money go a long way’ jets off the profits to America, Hong Kong and Singapore!
Now, I don’t know about you but I think it is obscene that the profit made from rain falling on God’s own Yorkshire soil should quickly find its way not just out of the county but also out of the country to the far-flung corners of the Earth.
If this is not a perfect case for bringing essential services into public ownership I do not know what is. Even the staunchest Conservative supporters should not condone profits disappearing out of the country in this way.
Surely it would be preferable for the profits to be ploughed back year on year into improving the services and reinvesting in essential equipment.
It is high time that people before profit replaces the current trend for the opposite rule to apply.