The Labour Party has come under attack for their plans to bring rail companies, energy supply networks, water systems and mail delivery under public ownership. In June the nationalisation plan, set out in a report by Shadow Energy Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, came in the wake of the party’s £100billion scheme to take possession of the National Grid. Labour wants to take control of the Big Six energy firms – British Gas, SSE, E.ON, EDF Energy, Npower and Scottish Power – without paying full market value for them.
The report said commandeering the firms would cost no more than £9billion, but on the day it was published, the market value of the “Big Six” was £140billion.
The Conservative Party claim Labour’s nationalisation plans would cause business investment to “collapse” and the pound to “crash”.
A report last year from the Centre for Policy Studies – headed by former Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith – estimated the cost of Labour’s renationalisation plans would be at least £176billion – representing 10 percent of the national debt or nearly £6,500 for every household.
The Global Infrastructure Investor Association (GIIA), the membership body for some of the world’s leading institutional investors, warned if Labour was to press ahead and pay below market value for assets, pensioners would be massively impacted.
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A GIIA spokesman told Express.co.uk: “More than 100 UK pension schemes are invested in the infrastructure sectors that would be impacted by nationalisation based on the public statements of the Labour Party.
“Based on our research, those schemes represent over eight million individual UK pension pots, more than half of which are from the public sector.
“This investment, which is helping to deliver the essential sustainable infrastructure the country needs for future generations, provides an income for pensioners in their later years.
“The Labour Party’s stated policy is that should they be elected, Parliament will decide the price paid to investors for the assets.
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“Should this price be below current market value, this would have a direct and adverse impact on the wealth of the pensioners that have invested in these assets.”
Water UK, whose members include Affinity Water, Scottish Water, Thames Water, United Utilities and Veolia Water, warned rationalising this industry in England would cost £90billion alone – even before the additional £100billion that needs to be invested into the sector over the next decade.
The industry body outlined the benefits of privatisation 30 years ago – customers are now five times less likely to suffer from supply interruptions, eight times less likely to suffer from sewer flooding, and 100 times less likely to have low water pressure.
A Water UK spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Two independent reports recently put the cost of nationalising the water industry in England at up to £90billion, looking at the enterprise value rather than just the equity value.
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Nationalisation would risk turning back the clock to the days when service and quality failures were far more common, and cash-strapped governments wouldn’t pay for the improvements needed
“And that’s before taking account of the extra £100 billion that needs to be invested in the sector over the next decade – all adding up to a multi-billion pound nationalisation bill for taxpayers instead of spending that money on people’s real priorities such as hospitals and schools.
“Nationalisation would risk turning back the clock to the days when service and quality failures were far more common, and cash-strapped governments wouldn’t pay for the improvements needed.”
The National Grid, multinational electricity and gas utility company, which has been the subject of a £100billion takeover from Labour under their public ownership plans, suggested nationalising the energy sector could see customers’ bills surge.
The firm said under private ownership, power cuts are 60 percent less frequent than they were in 1990 because of the energy industry investing £100billion of private capital in distribution and transmission networks in that area.
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A spokesperson told this website: “We do not believe a state controlled energy network is in the best interests of consumers in terms of encouraging the necessary investment and keeping costs down, as we transition to a greener energy future.
“The energy system is in the midst of a rapid and complex transformation, requiring billions of pounds of investment. National Grid is playing a key role in this historic change, which we believe can be more efficiently funded from the private sector.”
James Roberts, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, fumed renationalisation you;ld cost hard-working Britons billions of pounds.
He told Express.co.uk: “Renationalisation would be a real rip off for taxpayers and drag Brits back to the the bad old days of the 1970s.
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“Firstly, the state seizing control of industry will cost taxpayers a fortune, with households being forced to hand over billions of their hard-earned pounds to pay for it.
“Costs could come to as much as a tenth of the national debt, and acquiring the energy sector alone could dwarf the bill for the wars in the Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
“With the government running the utilities, railways and mail delivery, politicians could play with prices and shut down competition.
“With no energy companies left to invest or keep up the power supply, bills would blow up and union barons could once again shut down the grid and hold the country to ransom.”