Scotland’s public sector water industry rates the “most trusted” sector among Scottish consumers at 68%. In contrast, private sector energy is one of the “least trusted” at 36%.
This is set out in a report by the consumer group Which? on consumer attitudes in Scotland. The report shows some interesting contrasts between the views of consumers north and south of the border.
Public spending cuts topped consumer concerns in both tables, but the concern was much greater in Scotland at 74%, compared to 62% elsewhere in the UK.
Energy prices are a bigger concern in Scotland at 67%, compared to 56% in the rest of the UK. However, 68% have not switched supplier in the past five years and only a quarter who considered it actually switched. Most though the price difference wasn’t worth the hassle.
Nine out of the ten most financially distressed constituencies in Scotland are in Glasgow. Western Isles is the least distressed.
Only 10% of consumers had a problem with public services in the last two years.
So good is public sector water delivery that Scottish Water’s expertise is in demand worldwide. The public corporation’s international arm has generated more than £8 million of turnover, in total, since it was established in 2012. It recorded a £200,000 profit last year.
Maybe public ownership is the right approach for other utilities!