The Adam Smith Institute published a new report over the weekend arguing that, based on the outcomes of utility privatisation for the government, shareholders and customers since the 1980s, there is “no case for renationalising the utility sector”.
“It is clear that while utility privatisation is not a perfect solution, it is infinitely better than stultifying public sector ownership,” said Nigel Hawkins, the author of the report and a senior fellow of the Adam Smith Institute.
He added: “It is inconceivable that the massive level of utility investment over the last quarter century could have been undertaken if public ownership had continued.”
Adam Smith Institue director Eamonn Butler agreed, adding: “Some of us remember what public services were like before privatization – the three-month wait to get a phone line, the curled-up British Rail sandwiches, and the annual power cuts from an electricity board that couldn’t cope. We do not want to go back to the dismal lack of customer service of nationalised services.”
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.