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Call for the Sewage Tax to save rivers and lakes

November 8, 2021 10:01 AM

The Liberal Democrats have called for a "Sewage Tax" on water companies to prevent raw sewage polluting rivers and lakes. It would tax the profits of water companies in addition to the current 19% rate of corporation tax.

Water companies pumped polluting and harmful raw sewage in national water sources over 400,000 times last year. The River Trust reveals more than half of England's rivers are currently failing to pass cleanliness tests due to water companies' actions. Yet the government says taxpayers should pay for sewage system improvements.

For example, Southern Water, which makes the most profit of England's water companies, would have paid £70 million in 2020.

Thames Water, the company which made £434 million pre-tax profit in 2020, would also pay £70 million in Sewage Tax after pumping raw sewage into the River Wey near Guildford for an estimated 1789 hours last year.

Water companies need to clean up after their mess. Why should taxpayers be left to foot the bill for water companies who have shown utter disregard for the environment?

The Tories plan to introduce a new 'duty' on these companies will do nothing to stop them dumping sewage for years to come. We can't wait any longer. More dither and delay could cause irreversible damage to wildlife and precious natural habits.