Here we go again. In the past 12 months, we've had significant hikes in our gas, water and electricity bills and now we face above-inflation increases in train fares which are already the most expensive in Europe.
To many on the left, the obvious solution is to renationalise them which is a fair point. I have long argued that such vital utilities like gas, water and electricity are too important to be trusted to private companies who by definition are there to make as much profit as possible with the result being the customers are forced to pay ever rising rates or go without.
The utility companies especially, collude to raise prices together so the two positives on which privatisation is sold to us are made redundant. It doesn't give competition because they all cost the same and it hasn't kept the price down, a glance at your utility bill will painfully show that.
So renationalising seems a no-brainer, only i don't think our current fiscal position will allow for that even if we pay the companies what they paid for them originally but there is an alternative to outright nationalisation. Instead of dismantling privatisation, take it on at it's own game and start up our own utility companies.
The Government toyed with the idea of creating a National Bank when all the other privately owned banks were falling over, so why not a National Gas, Electric and Water company?
When it comes to your utilities, the only considerations you have are price and reliability and the Government wouldn't need to pay shareholders dividends or obscene salaries to the bosses so they could vastly undercut the profit driven companies currently ripping us off. They would have to cut their own prices to compete or face a massive loss of customers to the new Government run utility.
After the most important aspects are up and running, we can begin looking at things like the railways which have been shamefully ripping us off ever since Thatcher gave them the green light to do so back in the 90's or push on with the idea of that National Bank which seems to have been kicked into the long grass.
There is a ready made market just waiting for these things to happen because unless the Government does something, the utility, railway and finance companies will carry on happily fleecing us and why let their shareholders make billions out of us when we can be the ones benefiting from it?