Saturday, July 01, 2017

Pricey Bills

 Since 2006, average pay packets in Britain have gone up by 19% in pounds and pence terms (in other words, not adjusting for inflation). Meanwhile, the average gas bill has gone up 73%, electricity 72%, and water 41%.

 Just weeks after arguing against consumers having their bills capped to save them £100 a year, the boss of one utility, SSE, was given a 72% pay rise to £2.92m after this “robust performance”. The reward comes after years of bumper dividend payouts which have doubled from 32.7p a share 10 years ago to 62.5p most recently.

a study by the University of Greenwich found consumers are paying around £2.3bn more a year in water and sewerage bills to the privatised companies than if they had remained in state ownership. It found they have invested no significant new shareholder equity, but have managed to extract nearly all of their post-tax profit as dividends. The report calculated that every household is worse off by around £100 a year as a result.
 Santander research into household costs found council tax has risen by 27% since 2006, while TV, phone and broadband prices are up 24%. Every bill that Santander looked at had risen faster than wages. What’s more, its research didn’t include the biggest bill for most young adults – the rent.

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