MEDIA: What The Papers Say - Anger over leniency on late water payers

’Outrage as Meacher guarantees water to the bad payers’ ran a typical headline on this week’s utilities saga (Daily Mail, 19/11/98). The water companies’ argument that a ’green light’ was being given to non-payers counted with the press more than protection of the vulnerable.

’Outrage as Meacher guarantees water to the bad payers’ ran a

typical headline on this week’s utilities saga (Daily Mail, 19/11/98).

The water companies’ argument that a ’green light’ was being given to

non-payers counted with the press more than protection of the

vulnerable.



The water companies argued that the vulnerable were not targeted anyway,

while insisting that the sanction of disconnection worked. Their case

was consistent, although the fact that two companies do not practise

disconnection was also reported.



While some consumer groups welcomed the end of the sanction of

disconnection, there was a general feeling that linking charges to

council tax bands ,rather than outdated rates would make more sense.

Meanwhile, some water shares were reported to have suffered, and

protests that free meters would hurt profits did not help stop the

slide. In cases like this, where there are so many changes to digest,

the headlines become very powerful in sending signals of dissatisfaction

with the outcome.



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the

Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at:

www.carma.com



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