MP slams South West Water as execs rake in more than £1mn in pay & perks

8 Nov 2023
Richard Foord MP and Ed Davey MP standing in a river

Tiverton & Honiton MP Richard Foord has slammed “eye-watering payouts” as the Lib Dems reveal South West Water paid their executives £1,188,000 in pay and perks last year, while new analysis of Company House records has revealed the country’s water industry paid out a staggering £10 million in executive salaries last year - the highest on record. 

South West Water rewarded their two executives with a staggering £784,000 in base pay, alongside more than £400,000 in bonuses and pensions. This is despite the firm pumping raw sewage into the local area, including the River Culm, River Sid and on our beaches.

Since 2020, executives at the water firm have paid themselves more than £5.8 million in pay and perks. 

Liberal Democrats have called for a ban on all CEO bonuses within the water industry, as well as the firms to be reformed as “public benefit companies”. The reforms would put an end to profit before the environment and ensure their boards including environmental experts. 

Richard Foord MP said:

“Our local waterways have been subject to unauthorised sewage spills, and this whilst the water firm hand its top bosses insulting pay-outs. These salaries and perks have reached eye-watering levels, yet Conservative Ministers refuse to act. 

“I was shocked that there was literally no mention of sewage in the King’s Speech. Everyone here in our corner of Devon knows the scale of the problem, and yet the Government seems to take little interest.

“The water industry in the UK has become a gravy train where sewage and money flow freely. These bonuses and perks shouldn’t be possible at a time when the sewage scandal continues. Bonuses should be a reward for success, not for committing environmental damage.

“It is also time to ensure that South West Water can no longer put profit before the environment. The firm is clearly not working in the way that it should and is not listening to local concerns on sewage discharges."

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