Thames Water boss points warning over Labour nationalisation | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Thames Water’s boss has warned a possible nationalisation beneath Labour would fail taxpayers.

Britain’s largest water agency additionally stated it can run out of cash by the top of subsequent May however efforts to lift new cash are persevering with.

Chris Weston, chief govt of the corporate, stated: “Special administration is something that is not in the interests of any of our stakeholders or the UK taxpayers.

“I can’t put any probability on whether it will or won’t happen, but it is a long way off if it were to happen and there is a lot more that we can do and will do and are focused on doing over the coming months to make sure that that does not happen.”

Thames Water, which is creaking beneath a debt pile of greater than £15 billion, stated that it had £1.8 billion of money reserves on the finish of June, a fall from £2.4 billion three months beforehand.

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to crack down on Britain’s water suppliers, pledging to place failing firms into “special measures” if they don’t “clean up their act” on sewage air pollution.

A spokesman for Number 10 stated on Monday the water trade was in an “unacceptable situation” and had not carried out sufficient to deal with air pollution.

Communities minister Jim McMahon stated: “We recognise that, over the last 14 years, frankly, the water industry hasn’t been regulated anywhere near as firmly as it should have been, and we haven’t seen the investment to deal with the sewage scandal.”

Thames Water stated the variety of sewage discharges greater than doubled final 12 months.

The agency’s boss blamed heavy rainfall linked to local weather change.

Mr Weston admitted that “our performance in pollution and sewage discharges is not where it should be or where we want it to be”.

Thames Water revealed that sewage discharges shot up from 8,015 to 16,990 within the 12 months to the top of March whereas air pollution incidents rose 6% from 331 to 350.

Mr McMahon stated there may be “no programme of nationalisation for the water industry” when requested what the plan is that if the corporate collapses.

He additionally stated there may be “no provision in law for a water company to stop providing water”, including: “We need to be very clear there is always a contingency in place.”

Thames Water stated it’s nonetheless searching for new funds wanted to keep up and replace its infrastructure after traders pulled the plug on £500 million of emergency money earlier this 12 months. If it finally fails to draw recent funding, Thames Water’s fraying funds might current Sir Keir Starmer’s newly elected Labour Government with a major industrial disaster.

A blueprint codenamed Project Timber was being drawn up in Whitehall within the spring, in keeping with studies, which might see the corporate successfully nationalised. Under the plans, the corporate could be positioned in a type of particular administration within the situation that its guardian firm fails.

Regulator Ofwat will on Thursday publish a draft verdict on water firms’ five-year spending plans and invoice will increase to 2030. That will kick off six months of negotiations with Ofwat forward of its ultimate choice in December.

Thames Water, which has 16 million prospects in London and the Thames Valley area, needs to hike prospects’ payments by as much as 44 %.

Consumer teams and campaigners have hit again on the suggestion of invoice rises.