This is the second of fifteen draft Bills in an Alternative Queen's Speech that sets out what a legislative programme might have looked like if a majority Conservative government had been elected. Read more about the initiative here.
Competition is the consumer’s friend and the monopolist’s enemy. It drives down prices, leads to faster innovation, better quality of service and greater customer choice. The UK has plenty of competition legislation, but still has some areas of the economy where competition does not flourish for one reason or another.
This Bill would introduce competitive challenge to all water companies, by making the pipe network a common carrier system. It would build on the reform that allows competition for the larger users, offering the same possibility to smaller consumers. Currently the water industry charges high prices, but fails to deliver sufficient water, declaring droughts as a reason for limited supply.
It would also require the government to promote more banking competition in line with the Vickers Report proposals to have more challenger banks. It would create smaller challenger bank status with lower cost set up regulation, to allow more small challengers to emerge. It would also take any necessary powers to split up RBS, creating new competitor UK clearing banks out of the assets and liabilities of that Group.