• by Karma Loveday

Water in the manifestos: regulation and markets


Conservative

Red Tape

"We will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.”

Regulatory reform

“The wrong regulatory frameworks can over-reward investors for the risk they are taking in backing a particular project, meaning households and businesses can become systematically overcharged. We will therefore examine ways in which the regulation of utilities and transport infrastructure can be improved to deliver a better deal for customers and sharper incentives for investment efficiency.”

Fair markets

Of interest to water in light of non household market opening and the prospect of household competition in future. The Conservatives take an interventionist line on markets. The party said markets should work for consumers as well as producers and that “As Conservatives, we believe in markets as the best means to bring about prosperity and innovation, but we should act firmly and fast when a market works against the interests of consumers.”

It pledged the following: “A Conservative government will strengthen the hand of regulators. We will strengthen the powers of consumer enforcement bodies to order fines against companies breaking consumer law and deliver redress for wronged parties. We will explore how to give consumers a voice in the regulation of business. We will put the interest of vulnerable consumers first, including considering a duty on regulators to weigh up their needs. We will investigate how switching sites can better serve competition, including by providing shoppers with information about quality of service and complaints. We will strengthen the hand of online consumers. We will act to make terms and conditions clearer.” It also pinpointed initiatives for specific markets, including a “safeguard tariff cap” in energy for those who do not switch away from the poorest value standard variable tariffs.

Conservative

Red Tape

“We will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.”


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