Mon 25 Jul, 2022

The decision by Keir Starmer’s Labour Party to oppose energy, rail and water being brought into public ownership will mean billions of pounds of public money continuing to flow into the hands of private shareholders, the Scottish Greens said today. 

Responding to comments by Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves on the Today programme earlier, Scottish Greens finance spokesperson Ross Greer MSP urged Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar to confirm if his party now proposed privatising Scottish Water and ScotRail, saying: 

“Water, energy, railways, and telecommunications are basic public services that should be operated in the public interest. Running these essential services in the public sector ensures that profits can be reinvested in improving services, not funnelled away to line the pockets of company shareholders. 

“Labour’s latest position on this issue is utterly baffling, particularly given the popularity of putting this essential national infrastructure into public ownership. 

“Their bizarre positioning on this issue, seemingly in some misguided attempt to distance the party from the Corbyn – era, simply reinforces the view that when it comes to the economy there is little difference between Keir Starmer’s Labour Party and the current Conservative government. 

"Nationalising these services was a key part of Starmer’s leadership campaign, but like almost every other promise he made back then, he has abandoned it in what looks like a hopeless attempt to curry favour with the corporations and super-rich individuals currently laughing their way to the bank while ordinary people’s bills soar. 

“In Scotland, water and rail are already publicly owned, and there continues to be widespread support for them to remain so. It is essential that Anas Sarwar urgently clarifies whether his branch office will follow the UK party’s instruction and support the privatisation of Scottish Water and ScotRail.” 

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