Labour has pledged to help reduce the amount households have to spend on energy, water and post by around £220 a year, in a move that would see utility companies and Royal Mail brought back into public ownership.
The party says households are being routinely ripped-out by sky-high utility bills, while shareholders pocket billions of pounds at the expensive of struggling families and individuals.
Labour say the time has come “to fix this broken model which makes ordinary people pay for excessive wealth in the hands of the few by instead bringing our utilities into public ownership for the benefit of the many”.
According to Labour, water companies paid 1,000 times more in dividends than in tax in the last ten years, with some even borrowing on the back of household bills to pay shareholders.
Meanwhile, electricity bills increased by 20% between 2007 and 2013. Labour claim £120 was paid by every household in the UK for dividends to electricity company shareholders in 2013 alone.
Royal Mail has also richly rewarded its shareholders since privatisation, paying out £640 million in dividends in just three years while closing 10% of delivery offices.
Labour has promised to:
- Make households £220 a year better off under public ownership models for energy and water.
- Cap energy bills, invest in renewable energy and under public ownership bills will fall.
- Bring water companies into public ownership to drive down bills, reduce leaks and end the shareholder racket.
- Compensate for bringing water, parts of the energy sector and Royal Mail into public ownership by exchanging government bonds for shares in the relevant companies.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The Tories have rigged our economy so that bill payers fund wealthy shareholders of companies which in turn pay little in tax.
“It doesn’t have to be this way.
“Labour will rebalance our economy so that the many are no longer ripped off by the wealthy and powerful few.
“Labour will transform our energy, water and mail markets so that they work for consumers.
“Our plans for public ownership and greater transparency will slash bills and drive investment in efficiency and renewables.
“Under a Labour government, our economy will work for the many, not the few.”