19 June 2003
Tories call for wholly privatised Scottish Water - UNISON
UNISON has issued a briefing to Scotland's MSP's calling for Scotland's
Parliament to reject the Scottish Tories proposals of 'mutualisation'
of Scotland's Water today (Thursday 19).
The union, who are the largest in Scottish Water, says that the
proposals are a token representation for customers on a board overseeing
a wholly privatised Scottish Water.
Dave Watson Scottish Organiser for Utilities said "Mutualisation
is simply a smokescreen for privatisation. Any mutual body would
be owned in effect by the financial institutions who provide the
capital funds. They would insist on all services being provided
by private contractors - as currently happens in Welsh Water."
The union says that right wing commentators are using rising water
prices to make calls for privatisation. Whilst there are problems
with price rises these are largely due to unrealistic targets set
both by Scottish Water itself, false comparison's with the English
Water Industry, and by the Water Industry Commissioner who wants
investment to be funded by customer charges.
Dave Watson says "The coalition agreement reflects Scottish people's
continual rejection of privatisation. And we would call for the
Parliament to reject the private sector's aim to profit from this
essential public service.
Note for Editors: The full briefing will be available on the UNISON
Scotland website. http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/water/waterbrief.html,
from Thursday morning. For Further Information Please Contact: Dave
Watson (Scottish Organiser - Local Govt) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07787