MPs demand ban on drinking water profits
11 October 2006, AMSTERDAM — The three largest parties in the Dutch Parliament are calling for a ban on the dividends paid to shareholders of waterworks companies.
11 October 2006
AMSTERDAM — The three largest parties in the Dutch Parliament are calling for a ban on the dividends paid to shareholders of waterworks companies.
The demand comes after research conducted by newspaper 'De Volkskrant' indicated on Tuesday that drinking water is unnecessarily expensive.
A large number of consumers are forced to pay extra for their drinking water because waterworks companies have to pay dividends to shareholders. Customers of non-profit driven waterworks companies pay less.
Despite the discrepancies in price, dissatisfied customers cannot switch to another company because waterworks firms hold regional monopolies.
The coalition government partners Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD and opposition Labour PvdA — which together represent a parliamentary majority — demanded on Wednesday a ban on dividends.
The CDA and VVD stress drinking water is a public commodity that should not be open for profit. Both are demanding a ban on drinking water profits in new legislation. The PvdA has backed that stance.
In the past year, waterworks companies have paid EUR 51 million in dividends to shareholders, primarily municipalities and governments. The waterworks companies Evides and Vitens pay the highest dividends.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news