Water Companies: Licence Conditions - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 3:18 pm ar 1 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Hayman of Ullock Baroness Hayman of Ullock Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 3:18, 1 Mai 2024

My Lords, I want to come back to the Minister’s response on dividends, investments and payments. Earlier this month, the Financial Times revealed that the 16 water companies paid out a total of £78 billion in dividends in the three decades since privatisation to March 2023, building up £64 billion in borrowing over the same period. It is worth remembering that the utilities were debt free when they were privatised. Frankly, I find these figures incredible. Is the Minister justifying his response to my noble friend as to how much money is acceptable to be paid in dividends?