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MoneySaving Poll: Do you support renationalisation of rail, energy, water and more?

in Money Saving Polls
15 replies 4.1K views
Poll started 30 August 2016

Do you support renationalisation of rail, energy, water and more?

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has argued the railways should be taken back into public ownership. It was one of a raft of state owned essential services that was privatised since the 1980s – usually by floating them on the stockmarket.

Those arguing for privatisation often focus on increased efficiency due to competition. Those against that say firms do what’s best for their shareholders and not for consumers. It’s a complex argument, but we’re really most interested in testing public sentiment so are keeping it simple.

Please vote for the choice closest to your view for each of the following services:




Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

Thanks! :)


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Replies

  • md26md26 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Don't buy in to the fallacy that the government will be any better at running these businesses than the private sector because they won't. Perhaps more regulation in certain areas is required but renationalisation? A massive waste of time and resources to realise that they'd need to be privatised again. If you're interested in finding out more, google Dominic Frisby and he'll get you on the right track!
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
    29.3K Posts
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    There are industries which need some competition, such as telecommunications. However, there are others, like the post office and water supply, which are clearly services and should be renationalised.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • smala01smala01 Forumite
    154 Posts
    As someone who works to bring efficiency in big companies/public sector, it is very naïve to think that any government can manage the efficient provision of service.


    What innovation has ever come from a public service? Where are the highest salaries and lowest productivity? Where does performance management vaguely exist - so coasters and average employees become the norm? Where is over zealous unionisation? Where is the slowest response to changing markets/trends?


    I can only think that people voting here expect "someone else" to do the management.
  • lgs6753lgs6753 Forumite
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    It's astonishing that anyone should think that politicians would do a better job running industry than professionals. As a former employee of nationalised and later privatised companies, I can attest to the strong benefit of privatisation from the perspectives of everyone - employees, customers and taxpayers.
    People complain about the railways but forget the huge investment brought in by privatisation that the state could/would never have afforded. They also forget the massive increase in passenger numbers since privatisation - BR would never have coped!
  • To my mind it is not simply a matter of inefficiencies - this is simply a managerial and occasionally legislative issue, it is much more a matter of where the profits go. It is insane for example that the French and Dutch Nationalised Railways can run and make profits from the subsifies WE pay these companies to run our "privatised" services. The same concept applies to foreign state owned energy companies running our "privatised" services.
  • SenseicadsSenseicads Forumite
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    I agree that there the government are not the best people to run these services, however they should not be being run for profit! there should be no profit in providing water to people. If the company makes a profit it means that they are overcharging the customer for something that is required by people to live. Same with the energy companies. Internet/phone I am more than happy to be privately owned as this isn't something that is vital to support us and innovation and profit can be seen as a good thing here. I am less clear on the benefits of rail privatisation. Those companies still make profits yet we pay the highest rail fares across Europe. But then back in the 80's british rail was terrible so I don't know what is best there.
  • edited 31 August 2016 at 12:43PM
    smala01smala01 Forumite
    154 Posts
    edited 31 August 2016 at 12:43PM
    I don't agree that companies should not receive a profit. Without this then there is no incentive for good companies/people to enter the market to make services better.

    In the majority of cases the efficiencies made by private companies is much greater than the profit they take out. I can talk at length about the Electricity/Gas industry and the bad PR that is written - yet companies here are making about £25 per year per customer per fuel annually. There is no excessive profits here despite misguided public opinion.

    Prices are high, and rising but this is due to global demand and government taxes - electricity and raw materials are expensive, but operating margins are paper thin due to competition. The "bit" that is truly open to competition the billings and service is very efficient.

    The reason competition cannot go further, is the infrastructure was built based on a nationalised model - in which the inefficiencies are obvious.


    As for rail - the right thing to do is remove the rails and tarmac the tracks, and run automated road-trains at greater frequency/capacity for the same cost. This would be a policy based on outcomes (moving people in comfort from A to B) rather than current blinkered thinking. This cannot be done because of the pseudo privatised/regulated/state contracts - let the innovators come in to revolutionise with technology.
  • edited 31 August 2016 at 3:46PM
    Rosemary7391Rosemary7391 Forumite
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    edited 31 August 2016 at 3:46PM
    smala01 wrote: »

    As for rail - the right thing to do is remove the rails and tarmac the tracks, and run automated road-trains at greater frequency/capacity for the same cost. This would be a policy based on outcomes (moving people in comfort from A to B) rather than current blinkered thinking. This cannot be done because of the pseudo privatised/regulated/state contracts - let the innovators come in to revolutionise with technology.

    Why would tarmac be any more efficient at moving people than rails? Or do you mean turn the railway lines into extra roads and run more buses :eek: ?

    If I want to go from A to B I have no choice but to use the company that runs trains between A and B or take a bus. The bus makes me travel sick, so not much of a choice. The train company has no real competition, so all they have to do is be a "better" alternative than the bus for the price, and so can charge highly for not much except being a train. A national railway would at least be influenced by elections and it would be more consistent across the country.
  • lean&meanlean&mean Forumite
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    To me it depends on whether the original privatization led to increased competition, choice and efficiency. Water, for example did not give any choice of supplier, so basically it was a sell-off of assets that did not benefit the consumer. Where the infrastructure can be separated from the service - eg trains, telecoms, gas, electricity - there is a case for nationalizing the infrastructure but privatizing the service. Competition, choice and efficiency can be encouraged through switching or by licence renewal. For services where we need a national approach for the greater good - post, local buses, health - privatization or incredibly tight regulation is crucial, otherwise it's the rich or those who live in cities who benefit, while the poor and the country dwellers become more and more ostracized.
    In reality, where does Corbyn think the money is going to come from to re-nationalize anything? A great idea in principle, but ill-thought through.
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    What a depressing set of results on a website that is supposed to be about saving money.
    I think....
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