Letter: Labour's proposals to create more jobs

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The Independent Online
Sir: The proposal by the Labour Party that utilities should 'pay a public dividend (windfall tax) as a result of their excess profits' to help to generate jobs shows a basic misunderstanding of the finances of the water industry.

More than 70 per cent of Wessex Water's profits is used to help fund new capital investment programmes. Our total expenditure each year exceeds our income by a considerable margin. Every day Wessex Water spends about pounds 300,000 on new capital schemes to meet legally required higher standards and to put right past neglect. This expenditure generates thousands of jobs, particularly in the engineering and construction industries.

While we wholeheartedly support the desire to reduce unemployment, as far as the water industry is concerned the Labour Party's proposals would have the opposite effect.

Yours faithfully,

COLIN SKELLETT

Managing Director

Wessex Water plc

Bristol

20 January

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