Labor plans to renationalise water, energy and rail companies have widespread support and a good reason: these industries fail to meet the legitimate expectations of the public.
The question mark hanging over these proposals is whether the expectations have now increased to such an extent that bringing these industries back into public ownership will almost certainly be considered a failure.
The work is saying that it can cut customer bills, improve services and increase investments, but it is clear that a nationalized industry will struggle to reach even one, or maybe two, of these goals. In its most detailed statement so far, the party last week outlined how it intends to buy and manage the electricity and gas supply industries.
The arguments advanced by the Labor Party for a tougher action aimed at ending a shameless aggression are well targeted. As a group, the 14 regional electricity supply companies, known as distribution network managers (DNOs), have been identified as the worst profiteers of modern times.
The DNOs are owned by six conglomerates and, according to one review, recorded an average profit margin of 30.4% between 2010 and 2015. About half of this figure was paid to shareholders in the form of dividends.
The citizens' opinion has calculated that DNO customers will pay more than they owe for 7.5 billion pounds between 2015 and 2023, although this figure includes the transmission and distribution of gas as well as power.
The work also makes a point of strength on the monopoly industries that manipulate the regulators and, too often, winners. It's a cat and mouse game that lets customers chew the carpet with frustration as corporations beg for more freedom, so they use it to attract even more money from the utilities they own. Even National Grid and DNOs have been late in the race to bring renewable energy, especially solar, into streaming.
So what is the practical answer? As initially advanced by Labor, nationalization will introduce the most complex and complex electricity supply network in the world.
It offers a splendid view of the environment as a whole that is created and consumed locally, supplemented by a supply of energy coming from a direct national network and redirected in a moment to compensate for the local shortcomings. If the dream can come true it is another matter. And if it can, how much will it cost?
The bureaucracy seems to swell in a nationalized system. For example, thousands of licenses and security certificates will be issued to generators ranging from offshore wind farms to local solar generators no bigger than those of Jeremy Corbyn, creating jobs for the four new levels of regulators: national, regional, municipal and local .
To meet the challenge of raising the funds needed to support investments, Labor has raised the expectation that it will be able to buy the industry cheaply. Government employees will calculate the cost of "pension fund deficits"; asset stripping since privatization; blocked assets; the state of repair of the goods; and state subsidies given to energy companies by privatization ". This information will be used to reduce the value of the sector and reduce the amount of money needed to buy all the shares.
This is probably the most exaggerated fantasy of the prospect. The English courts will consider past subsidies as legitimate aid for the industry at that time. Asset stripping is a judgment that can be easily challenged. So not paying the fee is, in short, a recipe for years of legal disputes and further delays for major investments.
There are many advantages that can be obtained from public ownership of natural monopolies. Work makes its supporters a disservice when it exaggerates the benefits.
The Lloyds union sees the red on the salary
Critics of the excessive remuneration of the board of directors were understandably wasted by the Lloyds Banking group shareholders' meeting last week. President Lord Blackwell was happy to justify the 6.3 million pound payment package of executive executive António Horta-Osório as a fair salary for the honest work that had driven Lloyds away from the financial crisis. No one, he said, would "do the difficult hours and the arduous tasks that our leaders have taken on for free"
The suggestion that executives should collect more than one reward for the bank's turnaround compared to low-level employees was not lost in the Lloyds Affinity staff union, which represents about one-third of its 75,000 workers. "To say they deserved their multi-million pound packages because of their arduous working hours is a kick in the teeth for ordinary staff members who work equally hard for a fraction of the pay," he said.
But rather than reducing the size of the CEO's salary, Blackwell said the bank would increase the salaries of the bank's lower workers. So now we know that the managing director Horta-Osório brings home 169 times what the average staff member earns, according to the Affinity calculations. This very high ratio is the "real crime that shareholders ignored," the union said.
Lloyds also maintained his position on the topic of the AGM season of 2019: the payments of pensions by managers, which critics say are little more than backward wage increases. The head of Lloyds collects 33% of his basic salary, or £ 419,000, as a cash payment instead of a pension, while non-managerial staff receives only 13%.
But it could prove to be a temporary transition, with the renewed code of corporate governance and the influential Investment Association requesting the payment of an executive pension to align with the rest of the staff. Even the affinity has warned Lloyds that he will not back down.
Bookmakers win the war online
When the bookmakers were campaigning against the restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), they made terrible predictions about the impact that their cash cow would lose.
They were mostly based on a non-discredited KPMG report, which stated that they could reach up to 21,000 jobs if the FOBT items were reduced to £ 2. The report was commissioned by the industry, which also established its parameters. Indeed, KPMG itself has warned that its work should not be used for purposes other than domestic industry.
Incredibly, as stated by guardian, the Treasury seemed to rely on the report when it initially tried to postpone the stake, in an attempt to mitigate the blow to gaming companies and protect its tax take.
There is no doubt that the loss of a product that has provided half of the bookmakers' revenue will result in the closure of unprofitable stores and, consequently, in the loss of jobs. This should never be taken lightly, but so far the impact seems rather less apocalyptic than the sector predicted.
Among these, the major bookmakers have forecast job losses at about half of the level felt in the KPMG report. The owner of Ladbrokes Coral, GVC, has quietly admitted last week that he probably overestimated the impact on profits of the next two years of £ 40 million. Could it be that it was appropriate for casinos to present the Treasury with a rather than realistic doomsday scenario?
In both cases, perhaps better-than-expected results depend on the industry's capacity for innovation. Ladbrokes has a dystopic way of doing it: if the staff has to go, he has understood, why not put them one against the other in a Hunger gamesstyle competition to increase revenue? Employees said in February that those who signed many customers with online accounts could simply avoid the lot.
Bookmakers may have tasted defeat in the FOBT battle but, in the end, the house always wins.
. (tagsToTranslate) Energy industry (t) Work (t) Gas (t) National network (t) Renewable energy (t) Activity (t) Policy (t) News of the United Kingdom (t) Utility (t) Energy (t) Environment