Exclusive: ASI paper "Utility Gains" features in the Sunday Telegraph

The Sunday Telegraph ran an exclusive piece on new ASI paper: “Utility Gains: Assessing the Record of Britain’s Privatized Utilities”.

Their remarks came as the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) think tank warned Mr Corbyn’s support of nationalisation could imperil Britain’s utilities.

“Investment in utilities is now much higher than before privatisation,” it said in a report, with water companies and National Grid investing a combined £7.4bn a year, compared with the “woefully inadequate” funds they received in government hands.

Nigel Hawkins, the report's author, said: “Privatisation is infinitely better than stultifying public sector ownership. It is inconceivable that the massive level of utility investment over the last quarter century could have been undertaken if public ownership had continued.”

Selling off state owned assets had delivered "notable benefits" for the government, shareholders and customers, which "manifestly outweighed" the costs of privatisation, the report claimed.

Mr Hawkins added: "It is significant that the UK’s privatisation policy was adopted by many other countries, most notably in the EU, where swathes of the telecoms and electricity industries were privatised."

“We do not want to go back to the dismal lack of customer service of nationalised services,” said ASI director Eamonn Butler. “It is true that some utility prices have risen - but prices had to rise to fund the investment in networks that frankly had been allowed to decay and crumble for 40 years.”

Read the article here.

A new Adam Smith Institute paper, “Utility Gains: Assessing the Record of Britain’s Privatized Utilities” assesses the various utility sales of telecoms, gas, water and electricity companies during the 1980’s and 1990’s and looks at how government, shareholders and customers fared since the privatisation process.

Click here to access the full press release.