Friday 27 June 2003

Water bonus?

I was ready to express my usual outrage at this latest example of state exploitation:
MANAGERS at Scottish Water were berated by politicians and business leaders last night after it emerged they have decided to pay hefty bonuses to all their employees at the same time as they are forcing up water charges on business customers by up to 500 per cent.
All 4,600 employees of Scottish Water are apparently getting a bonus even as they are driving small businesses to the wall.

The Conservatives are angry:

Murdo Fraser, for the Tories, described Scottish Water’s decision as a "slap in the face" to its customers.

"Scottish companies already pay much more for their water than counterparts in England, in some cases 16 times as much for similar sized premises," he said.

And, Mr Fraser added: "If Scottish Water is able to find this money, then rather than pay staff bonuses it should use it to reduce water bills for our hard-pressed small businesses.

We expect the Tories and business representatives to speak out against Scotland's extortionately high water bills. What is interesting, though, is that one can detect just a hint that the left-of-centre establishment media are beginning to realise that water nationalisation isn't working. Perhaps the sheer cheek of these bonuses at a time when the public are up in arms over the parliament building fiasco will lead to a greater degree of scepticism about all state activities. That would be a bonus for the rest of us.