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John McDonnell hits out at 'fat cat' water executive pay as consumer bills go up

2 min read

John McDonnell has attacked soaring pay among senior water industry bosses at a time when consumers’ bills are going up as a “national scandal”.

Those at the top of Britain’s major water firms have raked in an extra 52% in their pay since 2010, the party claims.

Meanwhile customers’ water bills have gone up by almost 8%.

Labour found three companies - Anglian Water, Severn Trent and Yorkshire Water Services had seen increases or more than 200% since 2010.

The Shadow Chancellor said the figures backed Labour’s position of bringing the industry under public ownership.

“It comes at a time when customers are carrying the burden of rising water bills, while seeing their pay during this period failing to keep up with prices,” he said.

“This is a national scandal. This is further proof for why we need to take these companies back into public hands.

“The days of fat cat pay in the water industry must come to an end.”

His comments come after Michael Gove last month launched a stinging attack on water executives at an industry conference, saying that some companies have been playing the system “for the benefit of wealthy managers and owners, at the expense of consumers and the environment”.

He added that the Government would give regulator Ofwat “whatever powers necessary” to take on firms, who he added had “shielded themselves from scrutiny”, while avoiding paying taxes, and had “kept charges higher than they needed to be and allowed leaks, pollution and other failures to persist for far too long”.

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