Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th June 1993.

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Photo of Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm Chisholm , Edinburgh Leith 12:00 am, 9th June 1993

Does the Minister realise that the Scottish people are sick and tired of the figures he has given today being used as a cover for water privatisation? Does he not understand that people in my constituency do not want front door water privatisation or back door water privatisation, whether by franchising or competitive tendering? Why cannot water investment be paid for by public borrowing? Why on earth should that mean cuts in other public expenditure, as Ministers have claimed? If the Secretary of State has difficulty in persuading his Cabinet colleagues, why does he not remind them that the figure of £5 billion over 15 years announced by the Minister today was exactly the same as the water debt written off at one stroke by his Government in 1989 as sweetener to the newly privatised English water industry?