Water is something we’ve got a lot of in Scotland. It’s something that has given us hydro power and boosted our renewable sector for decades, and it’s something that we need to protect as a public asset. Privatising the rain that falls from the sky is a surreal idea. Now water services in Scotland worth £350m over four years are to be transferred into the private hands of Anglian Water. Whatever happened to the Scottish Government’s Water Resources Bill, which aimed to shown the SNP’s commitment to protecting and supporting Scotland’s water as a public asset? In 2013 Jim Eadie MSP who sat on the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee said:
“The SNP Government’s determination to maintain Scotland’s water as a public asset stands in stark contrast with the constant calls from opposition parties to get rid of one of Scotland’s greatest resources by privatising Scottish Water. It is a path that would be a disaster for people in Scotland and is not something that will be countenanced by an SNP Government.”
Quite right Jim.
As the SNP conference gathers we urge all members to put pressure on their party, as has been successfully done with both fracking and UCG and bring a critical voice to this decision. But do they have the powers to resist the legislation that ‘forces their hand’?
RISE have launched a report refuting the case for water privatisation arguing: “Our report shows that putting Scotland’s water in the hands of the people is perfectly viable. We highlight the track record of Anglian Water, but we also show how a European wide movement around Right to Water has managed to apply pressure to safeguard water.” You can download it here.
Here Stephen Paton asks (and answers) the question: Is the Scottish Government Privatising Services? Love the t-shirt. See his Left: Scotland video series for more.