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Thames Water gives me the shaft - and the Government profits

OFWAT, in its infinite wisdom, wants to fine Thames Water £12.5 million for the following reasons:

"The economic regulator plans to fine the company £11.1million (0.8% of 2006-07 turnover) for failing to provide it with robust information and £1.4million (0.1% of 2005-6 turnover) because poor processes and systems meant that customers received poor service. They also missed out on payments they were entitled to".

Maybe I am being terribly naive, but if a wrong has been done to me and the other however many million users of Thames Water's 'services', surely the restitution is owed to us. Yes?

But no, not at all. Note footnote 7 to the press release:

"Penalties are paid into the Consolidated Fund and are not returned to customers".

And what is the Consolidated Fund when it's at home? This: "The Consolidated Fund is the Government's general bank account at the Bank of England. Payments from this account must be authorised in advance by the House of Commons". And further, "Under the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 most of the revenue from taxation, and all other money payable to the Exchequer must be paid into the Consolidated Fund".

So, there you have it. Having been wronged by Thames Water, instead of compensation being made to the users, the entire tax payer base gets a minor benefit by way of the State having 12.5 very large to play around with which it will not have to find elsewhere.

Marvellous.

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Blogger Ed said... 10:44 am

The good news, for those who don't mind being taken to court, is that Thames Water are not allowed to cut people off for non-payment of bills.

They can take one to court for wasting water. We cannot do the same in return.  



Blogger Lord Higham- Murray said... 11:52 am

...Penalties are paid into the Consolidated Fund and are not returned to customers...

Perfect example of the usage of the passive voice to avoid responsibility for the action.  



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