Gove lambasts water company chiefs

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Water companies have been accused of exploiting their monopoly power, and the environment.

The critcism comes from the environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said that some companies paid to have no taxes and hidden offshore their profits.

And he promised that he would back the regulator Ofwat in the tightening of the rules for the protection of the bill payer and the environment.

The industry of water in the body will respond of great Britain.

But Mr Gove’s talk of a water industry-meeting the need for inconvenient listening.

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He complained that the water had paid companies, almost all of its £18bn profits to shareholders, rather than invest in the repair of leaks, and the protection of the environment.

And he named names: The chief of United Utilities home 2.8 m per year, the head of Severn Trent, £2.4 m. will take £

The Secretary of state said last year, Anglia and Southern paid zero Corporation tax, while Thames has paid no Corporation tax for a decade.

He suggested: “Some of their best minds seem to be, as the intention of on financial engineering, as much as real engineering.”

Mr Gove promised to back the recommendations of the regulatory authority, Ofwat, due to be released in April – and said he would not hesitate to increase the pressure.

He said the company: “you can firm private, but you don’t have to take a responsibility to the public, you can take your custom elsewhere.”

The politician complained that three billion gallons of water to leak to any time of the day and said the figure has hardly improved in the past four years.

He said there had been no investment in new nationally significant infrastructure such as large reservoirs, since the privatization.

Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth, ” welcomed the comments but said Mr Gove could do much more to improve the management of water.

“Defra are not doing enough,” he told BBC News. “They are still making new homes on floodplains and there are constant back – step on the need to use water more efficiently.”

Dr. Matt Prescott from the environmental Rating Agency, told BBC News: “The environmental problems with the industry are a signal for financial problems

“We need effective regulation – it is clearly not happening at the moment. Politicians can’t just have an obsession with the bills.”

Dr. Prescott said that during the last persecution of Thames Water, in Aylesbury Crown Court, they found that the Environment Agency has no direct access to the independently sourced pollution monitoring data.

Instead, they had to rely on to water, to self-monitoring of the pollutant levels in the discharge from wastewater treatment plants.

“We believe that these forms of self-regulation should stop,” he said.

Follow Roger on Twitter @rharrabin