RISE - Scotland's Left Alliance, opposes the privatisation of Scotland's public water supplies, and readies a campaign to get socialist MSPs elected to stand up for public ownership.
Water services worth £350m over four years are to be transferred to Anglian Water. Anglian Water is no stranger to controversy. It is a tax avoider and polluter with a record of corporate greed over employees pay and conditions.The Scottish Government has chosen their private sector bid for water services in schools, hospitals and public buildings over Business Stream, the publicly owned subsidiary of Scottish Water. (1)
A RISE spokesperson slammed the privatisation which includes the NHS,Scottish Parliament and councils as a “surrender to the Tories and the EU.”
“Following on the examples of Scotrail and Calmac, the SNP are failing to make a stand against privatisation and the corporate take over of our economy. If we are serious about opposing privatisation, we need to make a stand.”
''SNP Ministers can't have it both ways - either it is a bad deal that they didn't want to sign up to but were forced to by their own civil servants, or it is a good deal that they have decided to sign up to because they think a private-sector water company with a track record like Anglian Water is the best provider of Scotland's water supply.''
''It's not satisfactory to blame it on EU regulation, especially when the SNP has such an uncritical view of the European Union. How can it be justified that the best future for Scotland's public-sector water contracts is to hand it over to a company that is known for tax avoidance, extortionate executive pay and providing a poor service? Nicola Sturgeon said just a year ago that she wanted Scottish Water to 'continue to be a public sector success story' - she needs to explain why she's changed her opinion, and if she hasn't why she has allowed this to happen on her watch.''
“Claims by Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown that it is a good deal for Scotland looks like a desperate attempt to defend a privatisation that he knows full well will be opposed by the overwhelming majority of Scots. Indeed, in post-referendum Scotland, the awareness about the need for publicly owned utilities has scarcely been higher.”
“Claiming that the EU forces them to tender these contracts they have once again run up the white flag on a service which was doggedly defended as a public service even in the face of Thatcher. It is notable that no Scottish Government Minister has said that they plan to challenge the procurement process in Brussels or raise it at EU level whatsoever. There's no evidence that the Scottish Government have fought one iota against this decision.''
“We are seeing an emerging pattern here as the SNP talk the talk of being pro-public services but surrender to the privatisation dogma without firing a shot. The world is changing - either we are going to loudly campaign for democratic public ownership, or we are going to see public assets swallowed up by the corporations”
“This privatisation should concern everyone who wants to see an anti-austerity, socialist Scotland. It is becoming clear that unchallenged the SNP will not deliver a Scotland that fights tooth and nail for our precious resources to be kept and brought under public ownership.
“RISE stands with all other opponents of this creeping cuts and privatisation agenda and will be working design an agenda that really will transform Scotland for the millions. The Scottish Parliament needs MSPs who will take the fight to the privateers, and stand unbowed to neoliberalism. RISE is getting ready to make that stand, which will in the same breath strengthen the case for Independence.”