A Water UK spokesperson said:
“This report builds on work that has previously been discredited, and again seems to have misread water companies’ accounts with the dividend numbers quoted for some companies simply wrong, and massively overstated.
“Private investment has brought more than £160 billion into an industry that was previously starved of cash while improving water company efficiency by over 60%. Meanwhile bills have, in real terms, remained around the same level for over a decade and have actually fallen in both the last two years. In addition, many of the biggest water companies haven’t paid out any dividends to investors for a number of years, while those that have been paid out have mostly gone to pension funds and institutions with a long-term financial stake.”
“However, we recognise the need for accelerated investment in our sector, which is why we are pushing the Government to instruct the regulator, Ofwat, to authorise schemes that meet Government’s environment targets, including ending all ecological harm from overflows, ensuring resilient water supplies, and meeting our ambitious 2030 net zero target.
“Regardless of the ownership model the national and global challenges remain the same. This is an unhelpful distraction during a critical decade we cannot afford to waste.”