river pollution


If water companies don’t promise to stop UK sewage spills, they will lose public funds.

After the government accepted a Liberal Democrat amendment, taxpayer funds may no longer be invested in water companies that fail to develop adequate plans to prevent sewage discharges.

Due to a change in the UK infrastructure bank bill, water companies will only be able to use tax revenues to fund themselves if they develop a costed and timed plan to prevent sewage spills into waterways.

A state-owned development bank created to assist the UK government in achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is the new post-Brexit UK Infrastructure Bank.

In the beginning, it could have provided low-cost financing to any water companies that desired to enhance infrastructure. It will have £12 billion in startup capital, which is made up of £5 billion in Treasury equity and £7 billion in debt. It will also be able to provide guarantees worth up to an additional £10 billion.

The amendment was proposed by Tiverton and Honiton MP Richard Foord, who claimed that the government had previously given water companies a “blank cheque” to invest in their infrastructure.

The Lib Dem MP said: “This is a victory for millions of people across the country who have voiced their outrage at water companies being allowed to get away with polluting rivers and coastlines.

“My amendment ensures water companies won’t receive a blank cheque with taxpayers’ money whilst they pollute our rivers and damage local wildlife.

“It would have been scandalous for taxpayers’ money to be thrown at firms who pay their execs multimillion pound bonuses, all whilst destroying our environment.”

Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary, attacked the Lib Dems earlier on Wednesday for claiming that the Conservatives’ new sewage bill effectively legalized waste dumping.

She said: “This is not the first time that Liberal Democrats have put stuff out and it has been a complete load of the proverbial.”

For comment, the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs has been contacted.



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