Thames Water fiasco: gov't asleep at the wheel

Unite says workers and customers must not pay the price as Thames Water engulfed in financial turmoil

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The financial turmoil that has engulfed Thames Water demonstrates that the government has been found asleep at the wheel yet again and that the UK’s regulatory regime is not fit for purpose, Unite has warned.

Unite, which represents hundreds of workers at Thames Water, is committed to ensuring that the workers, as well as the company’s customers and taxpayers, do not pay for this huge corporate failure.

Despite having a monopoly of supplying water to 15 million customers and already landing its customers with high bills, it is understood that the company has a £10 billion black hole in its finances on top of debts of £14.3 billion.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Yet again the government has been found asleep at the wheel, it has failed in its fundamental duty to protect workers and customers, who must not be forced to pay the price for corporate failures.

“This is fresh evidence that the government’s model of privatised utilities is broken beyond repair and they must be returned to public ownership in the interests of customers, workers and taxpayers.

“The scale of the financial black hole at Thames Water is astonishing and should send shockwaves throughout the economy. The regulatory regime that should be protecting workers and consumers has been found yet again to be a complete failure. The government has clearly learned nothing from the Carillon fiasco.”

By Barckley Sumner