Why is it that other infrastructure – for example water – is funded by private sector capital through privately owned, independently regulated, utilities… but roads in Britain call on the public finances for funding?
It might work, too, if roads really were private, with no subsidies to road owning companies and no government meddling in their operations, though I would be surprised if it works like that. The article suggests that this thinking is motivated by tight government finances. I rather like the idea of the government being forced to privatise everything because it has run out of money.
The president of the Automobile Association is not impressed:
In the water industry we saw big companies make big profits initially, at the same time as water and sewage costs went up by 42% and 36%.
Big profits are not a problem in themselves. But why would end user costs go up after privatisation if private companies are so efficient and competitive? It could be that before water privatisation the real costs were hidden inside other taxes, or it could be that water privatisation, much like rail privatisation, was anything but.