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Letter to local media - response to nationalisation claims
I read with interest the open letter from Richard Benyon, MP, and his arguments against nationalisation(10th October).

As a Conservative he appears to have singularly failed to notice the public anger at the trajectory private ownership has taken, for example where energy companies are eager to raise domestic prices, but not reduce them so quickly.

The figure of 12 billion pounds he quoted to renationalise Thames Water presumably includes the 2 billion pounds of debt loaded onto the company by its one time owners Macquarie bank.

As outlined in a recent BBC investigation they stand accused of borrowing the money to finance the purchase, transferring the debt to Thames Water, and then selling their stake in the company, but leaving the new owners, and more importantly customers with the debt.

The nationalisation of the railways is actually a relatively painful process, as the companies would fall back into public ownership at the end of their franchises at no upfront cost to the tax payer.

And before he starts to make claims about the number of nurses and policemen that could be paid for by the monies needed to renationalise these industries, perhaps he can dwell on the 20,000 front line police posts lost in the name of austerity since 2010.

As a Liberal I believe in fair competition and a level playing field for consumers, with private ownership where it benefits society, not solely to the benefit of institutional investors, pension funds and increasingly foreign owners.

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