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Water Authorities: Projected Capital Expenditure

Volume 475: debated on Monday 2 June 1986

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What, given their proposals to privatise the water authorities, is the meaning of their statement in their response to the report of the Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs on Coastal Sewage Pollution in Wales (1.1) to the effect that "The Government is ensuring that increased financial resources are available to the Water Authorities for capital works, including new and improved sea outfalls".

The Government's Public Expenditure White Paper (Cmnd. 9702), published earlier this year, showed water authorities' capital expenditure in 1986–87 at £910 million, rising to £990 million in 1988–89. These figures are based on the Government's assessment of the water authorities' corporate plans.It is projected that the water authorities will, in aggregate, be funding the totality of their capital expenditure from internal resources by 1988–89. Privatisation will free the authorities from public expenditure controls, thus allowing them to decide how to fund their capital expenditure. Nevertheless, they will continue to be required to give effect to national environmental policies, including those derived from European legislation.Her Majesty's Government are even now consulting upon their proposals for environmental protection under a privatised water industry. The noble Lord may wish to read the relevant consultation paper—

The Water Environment: the Next Steps—a copy of which is in the Library.