HC Deb 16 May 1996 vol 277 c1068
11. Mr. Jacques Arnold

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of privatisation on the expenses of the average household. [28500]

Mr. Jack

Household bills for water, gas and electricity combined have been cut by 9 per cent., or £75 a year, and residential telephone bills are down by 13 per cent. in real terms since 1990.

Mr. Arnold

My hon. Friend has demonstrated the advantages to households of our policy of privatisation. Would he highlight the advantages for investors in shares in the privatised industries that have been derived from privatisation? I am thinking, for example, of the investment of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, which sponsors the deputy leader of the Labour party, which has benefited greatly from its investments in, for instance, Eastern Electricity, Thames Water, Cable and Wireless and British Gas.

Mr. Jack

My hon. Friend is right to show that the RMT has recognised the strength and benefits of privatisation, as Labour local authorities have done. Camden has invested £26.6 million in privatisation, Derbyshire £60 million, Gwent £47 million and even Islington £24 million. They recognise a good thing when they see it.